Name:   Marguerite Viola (Dillingham) Robinson

From:  The Asheville Citizen-Times, Asheville, North Carolina
Date:  Monday, July 5, 2004

Barnardsville - Marguerite Viola Dillingham Robinson, 84, of Barnardsville, passed away Thursday, July 1, 2004, after a long struggle with lung disease. Her daughter, Freda Elizabeth Barry and her husband, Darrell, had taken care of her for many years at her home in the small town of Barnardsville, where she was born and raised. She was one of 10 children of George Fred (deceased, 1942) and Betty C. Dillingham (deceased, 1980); part of a large family, happily raised back in the good old days when children could spend their summers barefoot and carefree, breathing fresh air and enjoying the peace and quiet of country life in the mountains of Buncombe County.

Viola met and married the love of her life from neighboring mountains, Yancey County native Harold L. Robinson, who served on Navy ships in the Pacific during World War II. He just could not get the sailor's life out of his system, so he and Viola and Freda settled at the very cold and breezy tip of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minn. in the mid-50's so Harold could sail the Great Lakes. Viola enjoyed working in the mortgage loan department of a large bank there and later moved to Chicago in the late 60's when Harold headed the Lake Carriers Association's office there, doing the work that he loved, placing sailors on the ore boats of the Great Lakes. Viola retired from the accounting department of Montgomery Ward's headquarters office in Chicago after Harold's sudden illness and death in 1981 and moved back to the mountains that she loved so much.

She built her retirement house just the way she wanted, planted trees everywhere, gardened, grew flowers, read books and knitted, and did a little traveling around the country. She took a cruise to the Bahamas and flew to England, tracing her family roots to the small town of Dillingham, England, with her sister, Betty Joyce (deceased, Christmas of 2002), but Viola never completely got over the death of her beloved husband, Harold.

Her surviving siblings are Ray Dillingham and his wife, Betty; sister, Nell Dillingham and her husband, V. J.; all living in Barnardsville; Boyd Dillingham and his wife, Marge, Carroll Dillingham and his wife, Betty, Ann Graffio and her husband, Vic, all living in Texas, Hilda Kay Floyd (widow of Charlie Floyd of Weaverville) and Sarah Thom Bloomfield and her husband, Steve, of Atlanta.

Deceased siblings are Dallas Dillingham of Texas and Betty Joyce Fowler of Asheville.

Viola's last room at Madison Manor Nursing Center overlooked the rose garden and the turtles that brightened up the courtyard outside her window there.

The family is especially grateful to everyone at Madison Manor for their compassionate spirit, gentle hands and loving hearts.

Memorials may be made to Madison Manor, 345 Manor Road, Mars Hill, NC 28754.

An outdoor memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the family cemetery in Barnardsville, led by Viola's nephew, Dr. Phil Dillingham.

West Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 17 Merrimon Ave., Weaverville is in charge of the arrangements.