Viola Finnegan

Viola B. Finnegan, 87, of Independence, Iowa, died Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at Lexington Estates Care Center, in Independence.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, May 18, at St. John’s Catholic Church, in Independence, with Fr. David Beckman presiding. Burial was held at St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery in Ionia, Iowa.

  Viola was born on April 4, 1931, the daughter of Carl C. and Hallie (Huffman) Smith. She attended the Ionia Schools, and was a 1949 graduate of Nashua High School, Nashua, Iowa. On Nov. 4, 1950, she was united in marriage to the love of her life, Jerry A. Finnegan, at the St. Boniface Catholic Church, in Ionia, Iowa. They made their home in Ionia prior to moving to Charles City, Iowa, in 1955. In 1973, the family moved to Independence and started the Finnegan Auto Parts Corporation.

Viola purchased a school house that was located behind the Buchanan County Court House and moved it to its current location. After renovating the schoolhouse and adding a hallway to Finnegan Auto Parts, she opened the Little Red Schoolhouse, in Independence, in the 1980’s.  She spent several years serving on the Parish Council at St. John’s Catholic Church in Independence, and was an active member in the Sew & Sews.

She was a talented artist, spending countless hours quilting, and painting. She even taught classes in painting at the Little Red Schoolhouse. She enjoyed all the arts and crafts she did throughout the years, but her family was where her heart was. She took an active role in her grandchildren’s lives. Teaching them art, baking and sewing were among the activities they did together.

Viola is survived by her children, Michael (Sue) Finnegan, Clear Lake, Mary (Scott Holmes) Finnegan, Hudson, Wis., James (Joan) Finnegan, Independence, and Theresa Finnegan, Shakopee, Minn.; her grandchildren, Christopher, Patrick, Nick, Tom, Katie, and Jackie Finnegan, Grady and Casey Finnegan-Holmes; a great-granddaughter, Sybil Loe Finnegan; a sister, Edna Carroll, Pueblo, Colo.; and many nieces and nephews.

The Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory, Independence, was in charge of arrangements. To leave an on-line condolence please go to under obituaries.

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