Viola Josephine (Haut) McCloud, 95, of Crawfordsville passed away Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, at Whitlock Place. She had been a resident there since 2017.
She was born Sept. 21, 1925, at Steger, Illinois, to Benjamin and Elsie (Fostner) Haut, the second of 10 children. She married Benjamin Pearson of Attica, Indiana in 1944 and they began farming. They had one son Benjamin Michael Pearson.
In 1950 when their son was 5 years old, Mr. Pearson was killed in a tragic tractor accident. Viola and her young son moved to Crawfordsville and lived with a sister and brother-in-law, Lorraine and Melvin Robinson. Viola worked at RR Donnelley’s for several years and saved her money until she could get a loan and have a house of her own built by Mr. Robinson who was a contractor. In 1954 Viola married Herman McCloud, a widower with one daughter, Nancy. They were long-time members of the local Church of Christ. Viola liked to recall that when Herman proposed, he told her if she married him, she would never have to work outside the home again and he kept that promise. However, the whole family found lots of work to do as together they all remodeled an old farm house at the south edge of Crawfordsville that Herman had purchased as a very young man. Herman was a master brick and stone mason and carpenter. Viola learned to mix mortar and even lay brick right beside him. An avid reader, she searched the public library for decorating ideas. The finished home was a beautiful unique example of primitive American design with many hand-crafted and family heirlooms inside and interesting landscaping outside that they enjoyed together for 42 years.
In 1979 they raised and released an orphaned baby screech owl they found in the snow outside their back door. They were rewarded a year later when they found it alive and well at Milligan Park nearby, living wild but friendly.
Viola is survived by daughter, Nancy McCloud Beach and grandchildren, Dennis (Melanie) Beach of Crawfordsville and Rachael Beach (Mark) Coleman of Wingate; four great grandchildren, Josie and Evan Beach of Crawfordsville, and Ian and Justin Coleman of Wingate; four sisters, Delores Georgi of Crete, Illinois, Darlene McDaniel of Chicago Heights, Illinois, Tina Farrell of Naples, Florida, and Peggy Zenere of Thornton, Illinois; and brother Jerry Haut of Bourbonnais, Illinois.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Donald and Benjamin; two sisters, Marilyn and Lorraine; both husbands; and son Benjamin.
There will be a private family viewing with burial to follow at Riverside Cemetery in Attica, with the Rev. Darla Goodrich and the Rev. Kevin Toth of First Christian Church officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the American Cancer Society, 5635 W 96th St., Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46278. Sanders Priebe Funeral Care entrusted with care.
Share memories and condolences online at www.sandersfuneralcare.com.