Viola (McClurg) Pieroni

March 23, 1925 – February 22, 2018


image of Viola Pieroni

Viola Pieroni

Viola (McClurg) Pieroni died peacefully on February 22, 2018 at Evergreen Hospice with family around her.  She was born on March 23, 1925 in Clarksfork, Idaho.  She was pre-deceased by all of her family:  Her parents, Janie and Oliver McClurg; siblings Ed, Hank, Ruth and Gladys.  After graduation from Valley, Highschool, Vi moved to Spokane to begin making her way in the world. For a short while, she attended a community college in Modesto, California.  At the age of 23, she met and married Henry (Hank) Pieroni and together, they had six children. They raised their family on Greenwood Blvd. on the north side of Spokane, surrounded by neighbors who remained lifelong friends. Her beloved, Hank, died in 1978, when she was just 53

image of Viola


and still had 2 children with her at home.  As all the children began moving over to Seattle, she eventually joined them, selling the family home and re-establishing her life in Seattle.  She lived for a few years on Queen Ann Hill and then bought a condo in Kirkland, WA.

Vi was an artist and was able to dedicate her life more to her art as the children got older.  She studied and taught Tole painting in Spokane for 17 years. She then went on to study and paint landscapes and eventually portraits while in Seattle.  This remained a passion of hers for the rest of her life.  And it became the impetus for the next stage of adventure in Vi’s life.

In her mid-60’s, she bought a camper van, with the idea of traveling and painting.  What was remarkable about that was that Vi was terrified to drive outside the city image of Viola Pieronilimits of Spokane.  After Hank died, she challenged that fear, eventually mastering the freeways of Seattle in her little yellow Toyota Celica.  In 1992, she joined an RV club for singles, called Loners on Wheels (LOW).  She lived the RV life for 19 years, returning home to her condo in the summers to be closer to family.  In 2007, she sold her condo and became a “full time gypsy”.  She saw almost all of the lower 48 states and especially loved the Florida Keys, the Baja and the Canadian Maritimes. Vi  was insatiably curious about history and was really in her element discovering places of historical significance. In the winter months, she joined her LOW friends in Southern California at the Slabs.  She became more interested in painting portraits in those years, and painted several of some of the interesting characters she met along her way.

She came off the road at the age of 86 and moved into an adult living apartment in Seattle.  However, she soon suffered a stroke, which required her to move into assisted living.  For 6 years, she lived at the Chateau at Bothell Landing, making friends and engaging in many of the activities offered by the staff at the Chateau, continuing to make the most of what she was able to do.  It pleased her to no end that one of the staff wanted to display her paintings in the dining room and down her hallway.

And, what Vi loved the most was having her family around her whenever possible.  She is survived by her children:  Toni (Larry Butler), Pat (Monica Dana), Frank, Marty (Kendra Pieroni), Mary Theresa  (Brian Dugas) and Paul (LaRae Pieroni); 7 grandchildren, Joey, Stephanie, Peter, Nikala, Cole, Reese, Kory; and 5 great-grandchildren, Treyton, Lucas, Thomas, Henry and Faith. She was an inspiration to us all and will be greatly missed.

Her celebration of life will be held on March 18 at The Chateau at Bothell Landing from 1:30-4:30 (17543 102nd Ave, NE, Bothell WA.)

3 Responses to “Viola (McClurg) Pieroni”

  • Andrew Johnson says:

    I only met Vi on a few occasions, and really came to know her through Toni’s stories and Nancy’s too. What an spirit to live on the road like that and to devote herself to her art! I love the painting of hers that is in my foyer, and there it will stay. Blessings to all of you as you grieve her loss. With love.

  • Lorri Williams says:

    My Mom and I took painting lessons from Vi, maybe in the late 70s or 80s, at a “studio” at Shadle Park in Spokane. She directed us through paintings in oils, all of us working on the same picture. I quit painting when my full time teaching job took up too much time, but my mom, Lorene Remmers, kept going to lessons with Vi for years. And Mom kept painting on her own, but always kept in touch with Vi. Vi visited my folks on one of her motor home trips after she left Spokane. When I wrote to Vi telling her of Mom’s passing February of 2017, she wrote back saying that she wanted Mom to keep the door to heaven open for her, as she wanted to join her soon. My family and many friends have beautiful oil paintings hanging on our walls….thank you, Vi.

  • Kathy Mattfeldt says:

    Looking back at this last year,last year, my life.It has been full of good and bad, happy and sad,wonder and regret, yet always amazement. Never a day goes by without being thankful for the blessings I have. Wanted to let you know, I am truly blessed to have met your mom. Thankful for the memories that she and Ruth gave me. May your lives be filled with blessings and amazement everyday. God Bless all of you. Both of them will have left a great memory that always makes me smile!

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