Violet attended Central Dakota Commercial College in Jamestown, North Dakota from 1938 to 1939. She lived with her Aunt Louise and her Mom (Elsie) often came to visit.
In 1939 (age 19) Violet started working with Nash Finch Company in Jamestown, North Dakota
Violet's Early Years
1941 Rhoda, Vernon, Rodney, Violet with parents Albert & Elsie Flatau
Violet Flatau in 1936, age 16 (almost 17) - fishing on MacDonald Lake
1942 Rhoda and Violet (above)
Violet (age 22) on left
The 1926 Model T Ford 4 door with glass windows was the transportation to Portland, OR. Can you imagine the highways in 1927 and camping along the way? Albert & Elsie slept on a narrow bed supported by the back window ledge and front dashboard. The front passenger seat was removed & placed on the side of the car. Grandma Marie slept on it (along with Violet, Rhoda, and Rodney). Vernon slept on the driver’s seat.
1946 Vi (age 26 - in the center with the white hat) at the ball game with friends. Rodney and Vernon on top far left.
Violet was born in this house that was built by her grandfather, August Beckman, in 1909.
1937 Jr. Prom or Confimation - Violet and Rhoda Flatau
Vi’s father, Albert, came from a family of 12 children. Vi’s mother, Elsie, was the youngest of 12 children. As Violet grew up there were many family gatherings. Since Grandma Marie lived with Vi's family most of the gatherings were at Albert & Elsie’s. The summers were always filled with visitors coming to see Grandma Marie.
1929 Vernon, Violet, Rodney, Rhoda
1940 Violet Flatau
In 1944 Vi moved back to Perham, MN where she took a job with Perham Jobbing Co and later in February 1946 worked for Perham Mfg. Co.
See Albert & Elsie Flatau (from the beginning to 1958) for more on the story of Violet's early life.
Marie Friestad, Elsie & Albert Flatau, Grandma Marie Beckman, Violet & Rhoda Flatau (and Trixie, the dog)
Violet age 18
August 2, 1938 - photo of Albert & Elsie's new car!
1938 High school graduation - Violet, Elsie and Rhoda Flatau
Rhoda Flatau (age 6), Marie Gable and Violet Flatau (age 7) in Oregon in 1927
1943 Violet and Elsie (above)
Violet (age 23) on right
Violet sitting behind desk in office (below)
Violet Marie Flatau, born November 19, 1919 in Perham, Minnesota
1937 Violet Flatau, age 17 (almost 18)
1945 Violet (age 25) with Elsie
born August 18, 1898
died April 14, 1986, age 87
The family moved to Portland, Oregon in 1926 where Albert worked as a hod carrier. The family lived in the garage (below) at Walter & Ida Locke’s home. Ida was Albert’s sister. They stayed for a year and a half in Oregon before moving back to the Perham, MN area.
Rhoda (age 6), Violet (age 7), Rodney (age 2), and Vernon (age 4) on Aunt Ida's front porch in Gresham, OR in 1927.
Rhoda Amanda (Flatau) Koehnen
born January 26, 1921
died March 21, 1985, age 64
1937 Violet Flatau & Rhoda Flatau
1928 Rodney, Violet, Rhoda, Vernon
Violet age 9
1937 Violet Flatau, Evelyn Lenius, Rhoda Flatau
May 1945 Violet Flatau, Rita "Babe" Strauch, Rodney Flatau - above (right) - In 1946 Babe married Bob Riestenberg
1944 Violet and Elsie (above)
Violet (age 24) on right and left
Rodney Albert Flatau
born October 3, 1924
died August 8, 2011, age 86
Laverne Schriner, Elsie & Albert Flatau, Louise Schriner, Rhoda Flatau, Grandma Marie Beckman, Lucille Parks, Nona Jean Friestad, Violet Flatau, Margie Schriner, Bonnie Parks, Emma Parks, Anker Friestad.
lower row: Vernon Flatau, Frank Parks, Rodney Flatau, Inez (Inie) Parks,
(Marie Friestad took the photo - 1936)
Violet Flatau in 1936, age 16 (almost 17)
1927 - Vernon (age 4) and Rodney (age 2) in front and Rhoda (age 6), Violet (age 7), and Marie Gable in the back.
1938 Violet Flatau, age 18
Elsie (Beckman) Flatau
born November 16, 1900
died November 2, 1992, age 91
Elsie’s mom lived with Albert & Elsie from the time Violet was born until Grandma Marie's passing in 1953.
1934 Rhoda, age 13 and Violet age 14
Violet (age 4), Vernon (age 9 months) and Rhoda (age 2) in December 1923
1938 Rodney and Violet Flatau, Marie Beckman, Vernon and Rhoda Flatau - dressed for church
Vernon Beckman Flatau
born March 15, 1923
died November 23, 2008, age 85
1936 sisters and their mom - Marie (Beckman) Friestad, Louise (Beckman) Schriner, Marie (Husen) Beckman, Elsie (Beckman) Flatau, Emma (Beckman) Parks
The following was from Art Beckman, Vi's first cousin
Vi and Art were first cousins with Vi being five years older. Art remembers the dances at Luce when they were young kids. He was about 6 or 7 and Violet was 11 or 12. “Vi taught me how to waltz,” says Art. She was always counting one-two-three, one-two-three.
I have fond memories of being at Aunt Elsie’s and Uncle Albert’s. We lived in the same home at one time. It was fun with Vi, Rhoda, Vern, Rod, my sister Pearl and me when we were all together. Vi played piano. We also square danced. We had a lot of fun growing up.
Family photo taken 1941
1946 was the turning point in Vi's life. Vi met Walter Johnson at a dance in 1946 after Walt’s sisters (Helen and Eleanor) introduced them!
Click on Walt & Vi's life together (coming soon) to see the rest of the story.
1939 Violet Flatau
1941 Violet Flatau - age 21
1946 Art Beckman, Vi holding Karen Koehnen, and Vernon Flatau
1939 Rodney Rhoda, Vernon & Violet Flatau
In 1943 (age 24) Violet was transferred to Nash Finch Co. in Sheridan, WY where she lived and worked for over a year.
1926—Lange School, Perham Township—Kindergarten
1926-1927—Gresham, Oregon—1st Grade
1927-1928—Flatau School, Hobart Township—1st Grade
1928-1938—Perham Public School—3rd Grade through High School
1938-1939—Central Dakota Commercial College, Jamestown, North Dakota
August 1938—Worked at Joe Krueger's while Helen's mother was ill
October 1938—started babysitting part-time for Fred Brook's
1939-1943—Nash Finch Company in Jamestown, ND
April 1939—Part-time: Nash Finch Company in Jamestown, ND
July 1939—Full-time: Nash Finch Company in Jamestown, ND
1943-1944—Nash Finch Company in Sheridan, Wyoming
May 1943—transferred to Nash Finch Co., Sheridan, Wyoming
October 1944—Left Wyoming to go back to Perham, MN
1944-1946—Perham Jobbing Company, Perham, Minnesota
October 1944—Worked for Lester Platt at Perham Jobbing Co.
1946-1946—Perham Mfg. Co., Perham, MN
February 1946—Worked for Everett Steinhorst at Perham Mfg. Co.
Quit in August 1946 to get married
more about work and volunteering on the next chapter of Walt & Vi's life together
1933 Violet, Vernon, Rodney, Rhoda
Violet, age 13
1929 Rhoda, Violet, Vernon, Rodney, Elsie, and Albert Flatau
Violet Marie (Flatau) Johnson
born November 19, 1919
died December 21, 2014, age 95