Violet Hestekin, August 28, 1925 - January 19, 2020

Violet  Hestekin
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Violet “Vi” Mae (Thompson) Hestekin, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away on Sunday, January 19, 2020 at the age of 94 at Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire. Violet was the youngest of 8 siblings born to Sever and Inger (Hillestad) Thompson.  She was born at home on August 28th, 1925 in Modena, Wisconsin. Vi attended Modena grade school and Mondovi High School.

On July 25th, 1945, Violet and James “Jim” Arnold Hestekin were united in marriage at Lookout Lutheran Church, rural Mondovi, Wi. which is where they would be members until 1965. Shortly after they married, Jim and Vi bought a farm in Borst Valley, Independence, Wi.  They had three children while living on the farm: Cheri was born in 1946, JoAnne in 1948 and Gary in 1961.

Violet worked side-by-side with Jim on the farm while also taking on side jobs.  Vi sewed many beautiful dresses and other clothing for her girls. She canned everything from fruit and vegetables to meats.  Vi was always baking; at Christmastime she prided herself by making many traditional Norwegian foods. She taught Sunday School at Lookout Lutheran Church, and, along with Jim, was a 4H Leader. When their daughters began attending Russell School, a one room school in Trempealeau County, Violet cooked hot meals at home, then delivered and served them to the students while Jim took on the job as bus driver for Russell.

In 1963, Vi and Jim’s life drastically changed due to a farm accident which resulted in Jim losing his left arm. Vi rose to the challenge of being Jim’s main and relentless support during these difficult times. She was a loving wife with endless energy and spirit.  In 1965, they sold the farm and moved to St Charles, IL where they were both employed by Burgess Norton.  Vi and Jim were members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, St. Charles, IL.

In 1969, Vi and Jim longed to move back to “God’s Country”, so they bought a house in Eau Claire WI. Jim was employed by UWEC, until his retirement.  Vi was employed by the Jolly Troll restaurant in Eau Claire, where she worked her way up to manager. When Jolly Troll closed, Vi worked at Mega Foods until her retirement at the age of 85.  Vi and Jim became members of Hope Lutheran Church, Eau Claire.  

Vi had many other interests. She and Jim enjoyed escaping to Six Lakes Resort in Chetek where they had a campsite for the summers. They developed many friendships during their camping years. They both enjoyed taking care of their always beautiful lawn and gardens. Vi also lovingly made quilts for all members of her family.  Once Jim retired, he began woodworking; making many beautiful oak pieces for the family; Vi was at his side doing the finishing work for these treasures.

Jim passed away in 2004, and Violet remained in their home until she moved to Dove Healthcare South Assisted Living in Eau Claire at the age of 92. Dove became her second family; she enjoyed many friendships with the residents and the caring staff. She will be remembered for her amazing gift of caring for others in time of need Vi will be truly missed by her children and their families and all that knew her.  They have wonderful memories to cherish of a woman who loved and lived for her family.

Survived by three children: Cheri (Jim) Ulberg and their children, Dawn (Kail) LaVigne, Darin (Kristie) Weber and their daughters Alyssa and Ava; Michelle (Shawn) Cady and their children Levi, Kaylee and her son Tucker, Graceanne and Makayla; Paul (Darcy) Ulberg and their children Tessa, Jager and Kiya; JoAnne (Mike) Ward and their children, Melissa (Kurt) Willer and their daughter Julia, Chris (Richelle) Ward and their children Jordan, Alexa, Parker and Payton, Matt (Ashley) Ward and their daughters Claire and Emma; Gary (Debbie) Hestekin and their children Heather (Dave) Schmidt and their son Kelvin and John (Melanie) Hestekin. Vi is also survived by several nieces, nephews and friends. 

Preceded in death by her parents and her maternal and paternal grandparents, her sisters and their spouses: Myrtle and Spencer Christenson, Evelyn and Warren Alme, Norma and Ken Carothers, Velma and Warren Owen, sister Irene Ristow; brothers and their spouses: Art and Velma Thompson and Julius and Elsie Thompson, and her brother in law and his wife Ervin and Evangeline Hestekin. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Dove Healthcare South or Hope Lutheran Church.

Funeral service will take place at 11 am on Friday, January 24, 2020 at Hope Lutheran Church, 2226 Eddy Ln, Eau Claire, WI 54703. Visitation will take place from 4 to 7 pm on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at Hulke Family Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701, and one hour prior to the service at church on Friday. Committal service will take place at 1:45 pm on Friday at Rest Haven Cemetery in the Town of Washington.

Friends and family may offer condolences online at

Hulke Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services at 3209 Rudolph Road in Eau Claire, WI is assisting the family with the funeral arrangements.


  1. Miriam Maxwell January 25, 2020

    So sorry for your loss of your mom. It's hard to lose parents even at advanced age. God's blessings Joanne.

  2. Barb Barkley-Ellingson (Plett) January 24, 2020

    I was so sorry to hear of the death of your Mom. She was such a special lady and I cherish the memories I have of the days when our families would get together! Those where precious times and I will never forget them. I am holding your families in my prayers.

  3. Margaret broughton January 23, 2020

    So sorry for your loss Vi was a great lady I worked with at Mega and went to her house several times Your dad made me a table he did great work Vi will surely be missed by all that knew her won’t be able to make it but u will be in my thoughts and prayers

  4. Judi (Miland) Gunderson January 22, 2020

    My sincere sympathy to your family. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers. Your mom was a very special person to me. I have so many great memories of her. Not only as a wonderful cook at school, but as a wonderful, warm mom whom I enjoyed very much.
    Peace to all of you.


  5. Diane Thompson DeBusk and Tom DeBusk January 21, 2020

    I am so sad to learn of Aunt Vi's passing. I will always remember her for her kind and loving ways. My condolences to you and your families at this difficult time.

  6. Michelle Kirk January 20, 2020

    JoAnne, Gary and Cheri sending our Condolences to you and your families. She will be GREATLY missed. Rest In Peace Aunt Vi.

    Michelle & Kevan Kirk