Viola “Vi” Gerard, 86, of Carl Junction, Missouri, passed away on Monday, May 15, 2023, in Joplin, Missouri. She was born on November 3, 1936, in Carthage, Missouri, to Leonard Mills and Loreen (Adams) Mills-Thorn. Vi was a long-time resident of Carthage and graduated from Carthage High School before moving to Carl Junction. She owned and operated the Alba Café for several years and later sold real estate in the Carl Junction and Joplin areas. Vi was a long-time member of the Central Christian Center in Joplin.
Viola was united in marriage to Emile Gerard on January 28, 1955, in Carthage; he preceded her in death on February 28, 1981.
Survivors include one daughter, Debra Ann Lovenstein (Jon) of Shell Knob, Missouri; two sisters Leona Gillman (Allen) of Nixa, and Dianna Hales (Bill) of Joplin, Missouri; two grandchildren, Jennifer Kennedy (Jeff) of Carl Junction, and Mark Hales (Shelli) of Gunter, Texas; and six great-grandchildren, Jesse Kennedy, Jeremiah Kennedy, Jillian Kennedy, Alex Hales, Jacob Hales, and Zachary Hales.
She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Rex Mills, Gary Mills, and Eugene Mills; and two sisters, Iona Aleshire, and Irene Layne.
There will be a graveside service for Vi at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at Park Cemetery in Carthage, Missouri. A visitation will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 PM on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, prior to the graveside service at the Ulmer Funeral Home in Carthage, Missouri.
Condolences may be made at www.ulmerfh.com. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Ulmer Funeral Home.