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Born to Audie and Izoria Jenkins at Roy, Mo. Viola Faye (Jenkins) Wilks, 84, of East Wenatchee, Wash., died peacefully at Central Washington Hospital on May 1, 2006.
Viola was born to Audie and Izoria Jenkins on March 25, 1922, at Roy, Mo., where she grew up in the beautiful Ozarks. Her mother passed away when Viola was a young girl and she worked in the cornfields for a few pennies a day to help support her other siblings. She met and married her first husband, Everett Bricker, in Missouri. They traveled west, working in orchards and farms from California to Washington, and lived in Wapato and Toppenish for a few years while beginning their family.
They moved to East Wenatchee and had another son. They continued working in the orchards until Everett’s untimely death in April 1950. Viola later met and married Herbert Wilks in May 1951. A daughter was born to them.
Viola and her husband added to their income by raising fruits and vegetables that they sold to local grocery stores. She worked as a meat wrapper for Blue Ribbon Market and later at Peter Rabbit Stores for many years.
Later, she worked for Snyder’s Bread until retiring.
In the late 1960s, Viola’s “Field of Dreams” became a reality when they planted a small cherry orchard on their two-acre home site in East Wenatchee. They were members of the Growers Association for many years and the gigantic Bing cherries they produced won top honors for a number of years.
After Herbert died, Viola continued running the orchard until 1994 when she sold the property and built a small house in town. Viola enjoyed attending Washington State retiree meetings and luncheons. She also enjoyed gardening, swimming at the YMCA and going on five to 10 mile walks on the Columbia River trails and around her neighborhood. She was a fan of the Seattle Mariners and Harley-Davidson motorcycles at festival time.
Viola is survived by her children, Sandra Bricker and Kathy Spencer, of Wenatchee, Wash., Everetta Stephenson, of Wichita, Kan., Bud Bricker, of Everett, Wash., and Melvin Bricker, of Vallejo, Calif.; eight grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren; six sisters, Goldie Miller, Ruby Miller, Ora Johnson and Audrey Huffman, all of Ava, Martha Schneider, of Yakima, Was., and Lorene Byrd, of Mtn. Grove.
Graveside services were held at Evergreen Memorial Park in East Wenatchee on May 5.