Viola Johns Moore

September 6, 1927 ~ January 17, 2022 (age 94)

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   A local homemaker, agriculturalist, and member of the Animas and Virden Valley, Viola Johns Moore, 94 passed away January 17, 2022, in Thatcher, Arizona. Viola was born September 6, 1927, in Virden, New Mexico, the firstborn of nine children to Floyd Pace Johns and Wanda Brown Johns. 

   From her birth, Viola was taught and had a fondness and dear love for horses and cattle. Her first horseback ride was with her father, wrapped in a blanket, at just a few days old. Her love for agriculture, animals, and hard work never faltered. Viola was raised in the Virden Valley on the family farm and ranch. She attended Virden schools, where she received her education, working hard and learning what she would need to know to help her throughout life. Viola and her cousins would ride horseback starting at the river down to her Uncle’s (Lunt Dairy) where they would skate and enjoy milk nickles. 

   She deeply loved family and friends and was very involved in church activities, where she developed a great love and faith for our Savior Jesus Christ. On June 3, 1944, she married John Houston Moore in Clifton, Arizona. Three months after they were married, Houston received his greeting from Uncle Sam and was sent to the Philippines. While Houston was away at war, Viola delivered their first baby girl who lived for a few days then passed away. Viola planned the funeral and buried the baby while her husband was serving his country. From this heartache came Viola's saying, “Freedom is never Free.” A few years later Houston and Viola were blessed with two daughters Peggy Ann and Mary Ellen. 

   The family bought their first home in 1951 in Virden, New Mexico, and in November were sealed in the LDS temple for time and all eternity. In 1953, they moved to Animas, New Mexico where they bought their first farm and ranch. Years later Wayne, Allen Vann, who passed at birth, and Johnette were born. 

   Viola worked at Animas schools in the cafeteria for 19 years as a cook. She would come home, fix dinner, help her children with school work and then get on the tractor where she worked with Houston until long after dark. 

   Viola knew how and loved to work. She was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She looked forward to the annual family reunion, gatherings at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and of course the family brandings; where she was able to spend quality time with her children and grandchildren. Viola was a very thrifty woman, who always put others and their needs before herself. She loved to work and taught her family the importance of hard work through her famous saying, “It is better to wear out, than rust out.” 

   Viola was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her love for the Savior was evident throughout her life through her acts of service to and for others. Viola loved baking homemade bread, goodies and sharing vegetables and fruit from her garden with others. Viola will be remembered for her valiant testimony of the gospel, love for her family, and her deep-rooted family values. 

   Viola was preceded in death by her daughter Wanda Joy, son Allen Vann, her parents Floyd Pace Johns and Wanda Brown Johns, her husband John Houston Moore, brothers Dwayne Johns and Van Johns, sisters Lorraine Duncan and Dorine Poe. 

   She is survived by her children Peggy Schwallier of Safford, Mary (Dorian) Nelson of Thatcher, Wayne (Dara) Moore of Animas, Johnette (John) Fowler of Las Cruces; 19 grandchildren, 55 great-grandchildren, 5 great-great-grandchildren, sisters Alice Faye Brown and Floydean Hicks and brothers Robert Johns and Rodger Johns. 

   “The influence of a mother and grandmother is beyond calculation.” May you Rest in Peace, until we meet again. 

   Funeral services will be conducted on Monday, January 24, 2022, at 10:30 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Duncan Stake Center, with visitation from 9:30-10:15. Interment will immediately follow being held at the Virden Cemetery in Virden, New Mexico. 

   Arrangements are being cared for by McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory located at 112 E. Main Street, Safford, AZ 85546, 928-428-1740, www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com. 

To send flowers to Viola's family, please visit our floral store.


January 24, 2022

9:30 AM to 10:15 AM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Duncan Chapel
105 Fairgrounds Road
Duncan, AZ 85534

Funeral Service
January 24, 2022

10:30 AM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Duncan Chapel
105 Fairgrounds Road
Duncan, AZ 85534

Interment following funeral service
January 24, 2022

Virden Cemetery
Cemetery Wash
Virden, NM 88045

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