Violet Eleanor Dempsey

Coast Guard Badge
  • Name: Violet Eleanor Dempsey
  • Location of Birth: Jesse Lake, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: March 9, 1920
  • Date of Death: July 17, 2017 (97 years old)
  • Parents: Olaf Bendix and Selma (Anderson) Bendix
  • High School and Class:
  • College: St. Cloud College, St. Cloud, Minnesota
    University of Michigan - Bachelor of Arts
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  • Branch: Coast Guard
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  • Military Highlights:
    When World War II started, Violet joined the United States Coast Guard SPARS. SPARS was the nickname for the United States Coast Guard Women's Reserve, created November 23, 1942 with the signing of Public Law 773 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The name is the contraction of the Coast Guard motto: Semper Paratus and its English translation, Always Ready.

    Violet had requested to be stationed in New York but was assigned to duty in Miami, Florida instead.

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  • Civilian Life:
    Violet was one of twelve children, nine of which survived into adulthood.

    When she was in high school, a women's bridge group noticed her intelligence and gave her a full ride scholarship to St. Cloud College in St. Cloud, Minnesota, where she earned her teaching certificate and upon graduation taught in a one room school house in Garvin, Minnesota.

    Upon setting foot in Miami, Florida, Violet thought she had gone to heaven. While stationed in Miami, she met her future husband, Robert J. Dempsey. On October 23, 1945 at St. Peter's Church in Yonkers, New York, they got married.

    After being a wife and mother, she enjoyed three years teaching in the Greswold Day School in Lapeer, Michigan. She then went back to school at the University of Michigan to earn her Bachelor of Arts. Upon graduation she worked for the Lapeer School District and taught at Elba, Daley, Roods, and White Pine Junior High School where she retired after teaching remedial reading.

    Surviving are one daughter and son-in-law, Catherine and Robert Looby; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Ellois (Skip) Ellis and Joyce Read; and many dearly loved nieces and nephews.

    Violet was preceded in death by her husband and love of her life, Robert J. Dempsey and their two sons, Robert and John.

    Honoring Violet's wises, cremation took place. Violet's family had a private memorial service at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Saginaw, Michigan.

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