Violet M. Kanikula

Violet M. Kanikula

Violet M. Kanikula, age 93, passed peacefully from this world on Wednesday, July 12th 2017.

Violet was born in Chicago, IL to Abraham and Julia Germanos, immigrants from Lebanon. She was a sibling to three brothers; Emil, Joseph and George, and two sisters; Emily and Charlotte. In her youth, Violet developed a strong faith in God which guided her life. She graduated from an all-girls Catholic school and showed academic and musical talent at an early age. She played the organ at St Vincent’s in River Forest, IL and studied violin, once performing solo at the band shell in Grant Park. She loved dancing, and developed an appreciation for jewelry working for her father’s jewelry business in downtown Chicago.

Violet met her future husband, Peter, a Navy veteran in 1956 at a Christmas ball in downtown Chicago. They were united in marriage on May 18, 1957. After their first son died at childbirth, they went on to raise four more children in Palatine, IL.

Violet and family moved to Park Falls, WI in the summer of 1972 where the family built and managed the Park Falls Motel. Violet thoroughly enjoyed meeting new guests at the motel and created some lifelong friendships there. Additionally, Violet obtained her Real Estate Broker’s license. She started and ran “Old Abe Realty” which was named in-part after her father.

Violet purchased a resort on Schnur Lake outside of Park Falls where she managed four rental cottages during the summer. In the spirit of accommodating family, Violet always made sure relatives had a place to bed down when they traveled to the Northwoods. Eventually, a home was built on the lake property which became the primary family gathering spot for many years to come. Affectionately known as “No Fish Lake,” this is where the family gathered for fishing, campfires, picnics, and swimming. Violet always had a sensational family story to tell with an infectious laugh at the end. There was always home-made cake and coffee and mom’s version of how she beat dad in a game of cards.

Violet loved gardening, sewing, cooking, baking and making sure everyone had enough to eat and wear. Her children never returned to their homes without a bag of food for the road or an extra shirt or pair of pants. Her signature dish, baklava, was amazing and always made an appearance at special family events and holiday gatherings.

During the winters, Violet and Pete would travel to their second home in Merritt Island, FL where she would reunite with her sisters.

Violet never lost her beauty or her expressive face and eyes even with her eventual battle with dementia.

Violet was preceded in death by her first son, Peter (stillborn), her husband of 56 years, Peter Joseph Kanikula, father Abraham, mother, Julia and brother, Joseph. She is survived by her four children: Peter G. (Kathy) Kanikula, Agnes M. (Brian Evans) Kanikula, Theresa M. (Peter) Ives and Paul A. (Mandee) Kanikula; eight grandchildren: John Kanikula, Jennifer Kanikula, Benjamin Evans, Samuel Evans, Sarah Ives, Mary Ives, Olivia Kanikula and Lola Kanikula. Two brothers; Emil and George and two sisters; Emily and Charlotte.

Friends and family are invited to a visitation and prayer service held on Monday, July 17th from 3:00-5:00 pm at St Francis Catholic church in Cross Plains, WI. Also, on July 18th, a visitation at 9:00 am and funeral mass at 10:00 am at St Vincent’s Catholic church in River Forest, IL followed by a burial service at Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in Hillside IL. A luncheon celebration will follow. Contact Gunderson Funeral Home for details at and click on Violet’s obituary. You may also call the funeral home at 608-873-4590.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to the home care team especially Liz Miller who loved and cared dearly for Violet in her final years as well as Dr. Janelle Hupp and staff, Agrace Hospice and the staff at Ingleside manor.