Viola Mae Gaddis Cecil, 103, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, at Hillcrest Nursing Home in Owensboro. She was born May 22, 1917, in Hunter, Arkansas. Her parents, Ida Bell Vanover Gaddis and John Henry Gaddis, were from the Panther area in Daviess County and went to Arkansas to homestead.

She retired from GE in 1981 after 34 1/2 years. During World War II, Viola worked in Evansville, Indiana, as a “Rosie the Riveter” making airplanes for the war. She was a Lady Kentucky Colonel and was a member of Third Baptist Church.

Viola was always happy when she had a lot of people around her. She was always generous and known for her love of family, especially the young people and children. She enjoyed having out-of-town relatives staying in her home. She was a very good cook and could put a meal on the table in minutes and could always set an extra plate. She worked at GE and came home and helped her husband in the garden picking vegetables for the next day. Through hard work and thriftiness, Viola and her husband built a home and thriving plant and vegetable business, R.E. Cecil’s Greenhouse and Produce, located on the Veach Road. She was a loving and devoted wife and mother and a special Grandma.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Robert E. Cecil; her parents; brothers Louis Calvin “L.C.” Gaddis and Melvin Gaddis; and a great-great-granddaughter, Evalyn Grace Russ.

Those who mourn her passing are her daughter, Barbara Ann Cecil Russ (Wayne); son Robert E. “Bob” Cecil Jr. (Ruth King); four grandchildren, Angela Russ, Philip Cecil, Eric Cecil and Shawn Russ; and one step-grandson, Kristopher Dillon (Jessica), all of Owensboro; six great-granddaughters, Sydney Morgan Ellis, Brooke Alexandria Ellis, Madison Lee Ellis, Morgan Cecil, Alexis Cheyenne Russ and Emily Cecil; four great-grandsons, Spencer Russ (Morgan), Brayden Russ, Brody Cecil and Chase Cecil; two stepgreat-granddaughters, Kerstyn and Kaylee Dillon; and last but not least, her great-great-grandson, little Jackson Russ Ellis; and a great-great-grandson she never met, baby Timothy Orry Russ, all of Owensboro. She also leaves behind a nephew, William Gaddis (Anne) of Frankfort; and a niece, Reubene Ann Gaddis Adkins (Troy) of Owensboro.

Services will be 10 a.m. Saturday in the chapel at James H. Davis Funeral Home & Crematory. Burial will follow in Rosehill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and after 9 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

The number of those attending the visitation or funeral shall be within current health and safety directives. Family and friends shall wear appropriate personal protective masks.

Online messages of condolence may be made at