Viola Ann Chaney

Viola Ann Chaney
March 19, 1943 - February 4, 2020

Viola Ann Chaney, age 76, went to be with her Almighty Father in Heaven on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. A devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she departed this earthly life surrounded by her loving family.
Visitation will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, February 7 at Hilliard Funeral Home located at 386 N. Maple in Van, Texas. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 8, also at Hilliard Funeral Home, with Bro. Shelby Davidson officiating. A reception for family and friends will take place from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, February 8 at the Van Community Center located at 310 Chestnut in Van.
Viola—known as Vi to those closest to her—is preceded in death by her mother Ruby Merle Scott, whom she loved fiercely, as well as her father Arnold Virgil Schoonover and her brother Jerry Dean Schoonover. She was also very close to her beloved stepfather, Clarence “Joker” Harris.
Viola is survived by a host of relatives, including daughter Connie McKinzie and husband Chris; daughter Denise Norton and husband Clinton; son Chris Chaney and wife Shelley; and son Brad Chaney and wife Malisa. This proud Nana also has several grandchildren: Erica Bender and husband Ryan; Brandon Chaney; Alyssa Norton; Amanda Appleton and husband Jonathan; Lauren Turney and husband Steven; Matthew Norton; Katrina Chaney; Baxter Chaney; Sara Chaney; Rebekah Blevins; and Gabriel Chaney. She also leaves behind three great-grandchildren: Addyson Bender, Avery Bender and Lukas Appleton.
Viola was a lifelong resident of Texas, born in the historic railroad town of Abilene on March 19, 1943. She spent many of her early years in Grand Saline, where she attended school until the eighth grade, and also lived in Edgewood for much of her life. Plucky and tenacious, Viola’s fondest childhood memories included riding bikes with her favorite cousin Peggy, throwing rocks into “tanks” (aka muddy ponds often inhabited by cottonmouths and other snakes), and chasing after cattle (and running like the wind when they chased back). Growing up in a hardworking blue-collar family, she learned diligence and perseverance while helping with responsibilities such as picking cotton and milking the cows, and honed her life-long talent as a seamstress. As a teenager in the 1950s, some of Viola’s favorite outings involved dancing to the rock ‘n’ roll tunes of Elvis Presley as well as country and other genres. She matured into a striking beauty but stayed remarkably modest, choosing to let her inner grace shine through her words and deeds. Of her many positive attributes, she is best remembered as being steadfast, self-reliant, resilient, determined, compassionate, protective, selfless and a great listener.
Viola will be buried next to her mother and grandmother in Rodgers Cemetery in Grand Saline. Pallbearers include Wallace Carlson, Matthew Norton, Baxter Chaney, Ryan Bender, Jonathan Appleton and Steven Turney. Condolences may be sent to the family at If desired, memorial contributions may be made to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration at