Viola Ann (Winande) Millan was born November 1, 1915 at Mitchell, SD. She was the second child of Ed and Lena (Michael) Winande. She grew up in Mitchell and attended Notre Dame Academy through grade school, high school and two years of college. She then attended Dakota Wesleyan University and received her BA degree in English and History. Following her graduation from DWU she attended Northwestern University in Chicago and received her Masters Degree.
She then taught school in Oacoma, SD and later became the school superintendent there. She met Ralph D. Millan at Oacoma where he grew up and was working for the WPA at the time. Ralph left Oacoma to begin working in the engineering department at McDonald Douglas Aircraft. Viola joined him in California and they were married November 26, 1943 in Santa Barbara. Viola began working for McDonald Aircraft, but moved back to South Dakota in 1944 when Ralph was drafted into the Navy. She began teaching high school at Ethan, and continued that for several years while also beginning farming with Ralph southwest of Mitchell after his discharge from the Navy in 1946. Their son, Brock, was born in 1951. Viola spent the next fifty-three years on the farm.
She was involved in country school activities, Lisbon Township Election Board, Holy Spirit Altar Society, Pleasant Hill Community Club, Eager Beavers 4H Club and most of all the farm. She helped with outside work early on and later helped her son, Brock and wife, Carol, get involved in the farming operation. In 2005 her grandson, John, graduated from SDSU and became the fifth generation to farm in Hanson County. Her granddaughter, Becky, graduated from law school at USD in 2007 and is a deputy states attorney in Brown County.
In 1999 Viola and Ralph moved to Primrose Apartments in Mitchell. Ralph passed away in 2000. Viola moved to Brady Assisted Living and has been at Firesteel since August 2005. She liked to have people to visit her even though she had difficulty with sight and hearing.
Survivors include her son Brock and wife, Carol, granddaughter Becky, grandson John, a sister-in-law, Gladys Weiland of Chamberlain and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph, her parents and a sister, Lillian.