By Bill Anderson
As of Saturday, February 5, the bone-chilling cold that had characterized the month of January and the first few days of February gave way to more moderate temperatures, still not warm, but at least able to peek above the freezing mark for a few hours and provide some hope to those who had been considering giving up on Spring. It’s still Winter, though; the wind still blows; it can still get cold; the snow still falls; and the streets are still covered with packed snow and ice; but there is hope. In the middle of a North Dakota Winter what more can you want or expect. We can ask the one who put it there to relieve us of the snow, but not too far south of us, in south central and southeast South Dakota, there is no snow, and the weather experts are predicting severe drought conditions in the Spring, while signs warning of the extreme fire danger are posted on nearly every corner. We have to be careful what we ask for, we just might get it.
Local anglers have gotten what they wanted: ice; water; and fish; and they are happy with it, at least for now. Walleyes, northerns, perch and crappies have been biting, but sometimes here and sometimes there. One day there may be 40 ice fishing houses on a fishing hot spot, but when the catching slows down and a report is received that the fish are biting somewhere else, like an old-time gold rush mining camp, the fishermen and their houses pick up and move elsewhere, leaving their former location looking forlorn and deserted. We know that the fishing is pretty good, though, because the fishermen aren’t talking about it. In fact, it’s so good that they don’t even lie about it. That’s what’s called a contrary indicator. Whatever it looks like, it’s really the opposite.
This community was saddened last week when word was received here that Violet Wyum, a life-long member of the Rutland community, and a long-time elementary school educator in Sargent County, had departed this life on the evening of Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at the Four Seasons Healthcare center in Forman. She had attained the age of 97 years, 2 months, and 25 days at the time of her death. Violet Martha Olson was born on the Olson family farm in Ransom Township on Friday, November 7, 1924, to Olof and Hilma (Peterson) Olson. She grew up on the farm and attended elementary school in a 1 room Ransom Township country school. She attended high school in Rutland and graduated in the RHS Class of 1942. She earned her 2-year teaching degree from Valley City State Teachers’ College in 1944, and taught school in 1 room country schoolhouses in Ransom and Tewaukon Townships before teaching in Cayuga, Cogswell and Rutland. While teaching, she took classes at Bethel College in St. Paul and at Valley City State to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1959. Thirty-two years of Violet’s teaching career were spent in Sargent County, including country schools, town schools and the Sargent Central Elementary School in Rutland. She also taught for one year in Bismarck ND, and one year in an elementary school in San Juan Capistrano in California. While at San Juan Capistrano she encouraged elementary students from Rutland to become pen pals with her students in California. Sixty-five years later some of those pen pals are still corresponding with each other. She is remembered by her former students as an effective teacher who knew how to maintain discipline in the classroom. Violet was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Rutland, serving as a Sunday School teacher; Sunday School Superintendent; Deaconess; Clerk; and, as a member of the choir. On June 3, 1961, she married Robert Wyum of Rutland in a ceremony in the First Baptist Church in Rutland at which Pastor Jack Reif officiated. They made their home on the Wyum farm 3 miles north and 1 mile east of Rutland. They became the parents of one daughter, Wendy Sue, and Violet became the stepmother of Robert’s 3 sons: Steven Robert; Michael Charles; and Mark Obed. Robert passed away in 2001, and Violet continued to make her home on the farm until she moved to Four Seasons Villas Assisted Living Center in 2019. From the time she retired from teaching until she moved to Four Seasons Villas, Violet served as the “go-fer” on the farm, making parts runs and performing other errands as well as preparing meals when called upon. For Violet, the speed limit was a suggestion, not a hard and fast rule. Her children and grandchildren often referred to her as “The Energizer Bunny” because she was always going full speed ahead, whether she was running for parts or scrubbing the floor. She relocated to the Four Seasons Healthcare Center nursing home in 2021. Violet is survived by: one daughter, Wendy Honchl; by 3 step-sons, Steven Wyum of Rutland; Michael Wyum of Rutland; and, Mark Wyum of Rutland; 1 sister, Shirley Mahrer of Hankinson; 1 brother, Don Olson of Mound City MN; 10 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren & 1 on the way; numerous nieces, nephews & cousins; and by a host of friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, in 2001; her parents, in 1955 & 1979; 4 brothers: Woodrow Olson; Martin Olson; Carl Olson; and Maurice Olson; and, by 2 sisters: Myrtle Orth; and, Alice Seline. The funeral service for Violet M. Wyum was at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland, with Pastor Julie Johnson officiating. Also assisting in the service were Pastor Wayne “Hutch” Hutchins of the Baptist Church in Lisbon; soloist Karen Hutchins; vocalists Michael Wyum & Janet Kiefer; and, Phyllis Wyum, organist. Interment will be in the Rutland Cemetery in the Spring. Condolences may be sent to Michael Wyum, 9720 139th Avenue Southeast, Rutland ND 58067. The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Violet Wyum, a woman of intellect, ability and character who devoted her life to her family, her community, her career and her country. Many will remember that Violet provided a moral compass for the Rutland community. If you couldn’t answer “Yes!” to the question “Would Violet think this is OK?” you had better not do it.Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Feb. 11, 2022”