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Viola Regina Dice Leach 1924 - 2017
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Viola Regina Dice Leach 1924 - 2017

Viola Regina (Beran) Dice Leach, died August 4, 2017, in Carlsbad, California.
Viola was born February 26, 1924, to Anton Beran and Hattie Prosser Beran in a farmhouse east of the small town of Odin, Kansas. At around age 2 she had a devastating illness that nearly cost her life. She suffered permanent partial hearing damage but recovered to live a long and productive life as the second oldest of 8 children. She and her siblings spoke mostly German until they started school in the Odin School.

During her youth she experienced the effects of the Depression and the Dust Bowl in central Kansas. Her family moved from Barton County to Larned, Kansas, where they farmed. She recalled the prairie grass fire that she watched her father and their neighbors fight to keep from engulfing their farmhouse. Her father moved their growing family back to the Odin area in the mid 1930s. At the beginning of the 1940s, to help the family’s finances, she was sent to stay with her aunts at the St. Rose Dominican Convent and Hospital in Great Bend, Kansas, where she finished her high school in her final year. While there she found lodging in the home of a small family and in exchange she cleaned and babysat as well as worked at the hospital as a nurse’s aide, earning her high school diploma at Great Bend High in 1942.

Meanwhile, the war starting in 1941, opportunities for women opened and upon graduating she headed to Kansas City, Missouri. In short order, she found a job at a bank, and within a few months moved on to City National Bank where she worked as a teller for several years. During the war she studied voice and piano, and went to the USO where she enjoyed dancing and meeting young people.
Living in a boarding house with several other young women, she eventually met the brother of one, and by 1950 met her future husband of 35 years. She and Thomas Dice were married in September, 1950, at the same church in which she was baptized in Odin. Tom was in the US Navy and they immediately left for School in Point Naval Station near Winter Harbor, Maine.
Vi and Tom had one daughter, Patricia Ann, born during this time. Shortly after the birth of their only child they headed back to Kansas, where Vi and Pat stayed until Tom could arrange for them to join him at his next assignment in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. When they were finally able to join him, he was reassigned shortly after. Vi stayed behind in Wahiawa, Oahu, until they could join him in Kwajelein in the Marshall Islands. She worked at the NEX in Kwaj. There they stayed until 1954 when Tom contracted an illness and they were sent back to the states.
Back in the Kansas City area, Vi was able to return to City National Bank. When Tom was released from the Veterans Hospital in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, he completed electronics studies and was hired by KKTV, a CBS affiliate in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The family moved to Security, Colorado in 1960.

Vi worked as a teller and then a New Accounts representative at First National Bank (now Chase Bank) in Colorado Springs and remained there until her retirement in the 1980s. During her time at the bank she joined the choir, which performed at Christmas in the bank, often singing solo parts. She was an avid bowler, coin collector, and crossword puzzle addict, and Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies and Avalanche fan. She and Tom were members of Holy Family Parish in Security and took part in the Knights of Columbus activities, Tom being a Fourth Degree Grand Knight.

After Tom died in 1985, Vi remained a widow until 2007 when she married LeRoy Leach of Lyons. Kansas. Moving to Lyons, she was widowed again when Lee died in January of 2012. In July of 2012 she moved to her daughter’s home in San Marcos, California. She remained there until numerous illnesses resulted in hospital stays and nursing homes followed by assisted living at the Silvergate Community in San Marcos. In the summer 2016 she moved to a board and care in Carlsbad (Carlsbad Elder Care) aided by Hospice of the North Coast, and there she remained until she passed away on August 4. She was a member of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Carlsbad, California.

Viola is survived by her daughter, Patricia Walker (William) of San Marcos, Calif.; her granddaughter, Alicia Froke (Casey) of Temecula, Calif.; two great-grandchildren, Jackson and Avalyn, one sister, Alice Dolechek (Vince) of Barton County, Kansas, and two brothers, Lee Beran (Judy) of Emporia, Kansas, and Tony Beran of Aurora, Colorado, and 13 nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her brothers, Gene, Jerry, Joseph, and Bob, as well as one niece, Michele Popp and a nephew, Eric Beran.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m., Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at Holy Family Catholic Church, Odin, Kansas, celebrated by Father Ted Stoecklein. Inurnment will follow in Holy Family Cemetery. Friends may sign the book 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Holy Family Cemetery Fund, in care of Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home, PO Box 146, Hoisington, KS 67544.

Funeral arrangements provided by
Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home**
P.O. Box 146
Hoisington, KS 67544
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Sept. 24, 2017