Violet 'Vi' Fleak

Jun 10, 2014 Staff

Violet "Vi" Fleak, of Riverton, died Monday, June 9, 2014, at SageWest Health Care at Riverton. She was 85 years old.

A viewing will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 12, at Davis Funeral Home. A funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, June 13, at Davis Funeral Home with DOES memorial rights. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery.

Violet Christine Sterkel was born May 11, 1929, in Riverton, the daughter of George John and Amelia (Herder) Sterkel. She was one of 18 children, and she attended first through eighth grade. In 1971, at the age of 42, she received her GED from the first graduating class of Central Wyoming College's GED program. She lived her 85 years in Riverton with temporary stays in Torrington, Wheatland and Grants, N.M.

She was baptized in the Lutheran Faith.

Her family said she was active in the BPO DOES, and she held many offices with the organization, but her proudest was serving as president of the Riverton chapter and being able to serve her community and organization.

She farmed and worked as a waitress, a department store supervisor, a jewelry store clerk and as a legal secretary, serving for more than 70 years in the workforce. She was employed with Girard Law Office at the time of her death.

On July 28, 1946, she married Thaine Cooper Fleak in the backyard of his parents, Bill and Orpha Fleak, at 358 N. Fifth St. E. in Riverton. Together they raised six children and two foster children.

When her husband died in a truck accident at age 50, she raised their two youngest children by herself.

Her family said she loved being with family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren who -- along with their friends and teammates -- called her "Grandma Vi." She attended all of their activities, never missing an opportunity to cheer them on and be there when they needed their spirits lifted. Her family said they were her greatest joy and kept her going.

She also enjoyed fishing, cooking, crocheting and camping, and she referred to herself as a "Jackie" of all trades and a master of all.

She is survived by her children, Bill (Lyn) Fleak of Riverton, Randy Fleak of Worland, Greg (Bobbie) Fleak of Gillette, foster son Dean Kosmiski, Wanda Lee McMullen of Oroville, Calif., Jody (Ted) Ray of Riverton and foster daughter Tina Kosmiski; sister and best friend Betty Giddings of Riverton; longtime employer and family friend Netta Bell Girard; 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; parents-in-law; daughter Elaine Fleak; infant grandson Aaron Fleak; sisters Leona Schilreff, Mary Ann Jorgenson and Helen Sterkel; and numerous half brothers, half sisters, nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to the Violet C. Fleak GED Scholarship Endowment Fund with Central Wyoming College in care of Davis Funeral Home, 2203 W. Main St., Riverton, WY 82501.

Arrangements are under the direction of Davis Funeral Home of Riverton. Online condolences may be left at

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