Viola Levine entered eternal life on Thursday, November 5, 2020. Her spirit is carried on by her extensive family (see below) and, assuming she has taken care of all of the entrance paperwork, is sitting in a plush reclining chair, her angel wings tucked behind her, a dog in her lap, rooting for The Steelers.
Viola was born May 15, 1930 in New Brighton, PA. She had her first of 7 children when she was 23. It wasn’t long after that she developed her patented sass. We assume it’s because you need a minimum amount of sass to survive in this family. Viola told it like it was pretty much 100% of the time and there was no backtalk. She was the matriarch in a big Italian family and each member knew the score. When she spoke, you listened. As tribute to her candid personality, her name became a verb. “You got Viola’d”, people would say.
But that sass and candor came from the most loving place. Just arriving at her door would elicit tears. She loved family above all else and it showed. She often expressed her love through food and became famous for many signature dishes. Lasagne and orange cake to name a couple. Her love could never be spread too thin. She loved with all of herself and the list of people she reached was numerous. From her own children to their children and their children still—to her brothers, her sisters and all of their children. Everyone got a special place in her heart and all the love she had to give. She may have held a little more love for her two dogs, Girly and Max, whom she was rarely ever seen without.
In any other family, you would think if your mother, grandmother, great grandmother (she was all of these things) at age 75 landed a job in security that required her to carry a gun would be surprising. Not for our family. Not for Viola. It somehow made sense.
Viola believed in the concept of “the more the merrier”, inviting friends and any and every type of family to pack into her home. She always had enough food, enough warmth and enough love to go around.
Toward the end of her life, we became concerned that she had fallen in with the wrong crowd. Her crew consisted of a few neighborhood grandmas who would meet up, play poker for cold hard cash and travel in a pack. We think she was the leader.
Viola’s life has touched so many people in her 90 years and we are saddened by her passing but will forever remember all of the advice “Let’s park farther away—you could use the walk”, love, strength and beauty that she has imparted on the world. It truly is a better place because she was a part of it.
Viola is survived by Robin Roppa and Joan Saccio of Ft Worth, FL, Thomas and Sherry Roppa of Porters Corner,NY, Steve and Helen Jones of Apopka, FL, Cindy Long of Orange City, FL, Patty Snyder of Greenville, PA, John Roppa of Ft Worth, FL, John and Mary Miller of California, brother, John Kusnir of Pennsylvania; Along with 19 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.