Viola Wilson Goodale

Viola Wilson Goodale (b. Mildred Viola Mason) passed away May 30 2017 at Westpark Village in Billings. 

Grandma Vi was born November 18, 1920 in Turtle Lake, ND to Charles and Minnie Mason. She was the fourth of 10 children. She lived in Vida, MT and graduated from High School in Terry, MT in 1938.

Vi said she wanted her obituary to simply state “Vi died.” However, her life was so much more.

She married Gordon Wilson on July 4, 1941. They lived in many places along the Milwaukee RR for which Gordon worked including Mildred, Baker, Ryegate and finally Miles City. She and Gordon had two sons, Doug and Bruce. 

Vi was a single mother for many years after Gordon had a traumatic fall and eventually passed away. She worked for many years to support her boys at JM McDonalds in Miles City as office manager and top sales clerk. She especially enjoyed working 50-60 hours a week in December, then going home, and decorating for Christmas until midnight to make it very special. Because of her hard work, the boys did not realize they were poor. She would often put items on layaway right after Christmas so they would be paid off by the next one.

In 1975, she married Hank Goodale and they lived for many years in their beautiful home in the Yellowstone Valley east of Miles City. He quickly convinced her to retire and she really enjoyed cooking and entertaining, always with class. They enjoyed a special trip to Germany where they met friends and relatives. Thanksgiving at her house is something all of us will remember and cherish. Wednesday evening taco salad, Thursday morning walks along the river, riding a tarp on the snow behind Hank’s pickup (or basketball if no snow) and of course, the most amazing Thanksgiving feast. Friday would be spent playing football, shopping and eating finger steaks at the Airport Inn.  Doug, Bruce and Hank would do their “shopping” at the Log Cabin Bar where they always met old friends.

They moved to Billings in 1997 and Hank passed away in November of that year. She lived for the next 10 years in a cozy patio home with beautiful rose bushes. Her final years were at Highgate Senior Living and Westpark Village. At both places, she had many friends and received great care by wonderful people. In addition, a special thanks to Compass Hospice.

Vi is survived by her boys, Doug Wilson (Joan) and Bruce Wilson (Patty); step-son John Goodale (Janet); special daughters-in-law Bobbie Tryan and Linda Fink; 8 grandchildren, Todd Wilson (Laurie), Chad Wilson (Ann), Gina Joyce (Kale), Maile Ewalt (Kent), Mark Wilson (Melissa), Jason Goodale, Jennifer Goodale and Joel Goodale; 19 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her especially close niece Ginger (K) Huckins, and their daughters Debbie Beley and Darcy Corbridge.

She was preceded in death by her husband Hank, parents, first husband Gordon, 7 siblings and great-granddaughter Shannon Wilson.

A memorial will be held at Faith Chapel in Billings on Saturday, July 1st, at 11AM. Please use the Broadwater entrance to the chapel.

Condolences to the family may be sent by visiting

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Billings, 505 Orchard Ln., Billings, MT 59101.