Viola Pauline McWhorter Rodecker Waugh, 87, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in Summit, New Jersey on May 18, 2019. She was born at Victoria Hospital in Miami, Florida on August 20, 1931 to Viola Ulrika Rogness McWhorter and William Pettigrew McWhorter. She was christened and confirmed at the Shenandoah Presbyterian Church. She graduated from Coral Gables Elementary School in 1945 and from Ponce de Leon High School in 1949. She studied ballet through high school with Ilonka Scheer at the Ilonka Scheer dance Group in Miami and danced in several operas with the Opera Guild of Miami. She graduated from the University of Miami, where she was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority, with a degree in Education. She remained active in Delta Zeta most of her adult life.
She was married to Lieutenant Robert E. Rodecker, graduate of the United States Naval Academy, and moved to Beaufort, South Carolina where he was stationed as a Marine Corps pilot. He was killed in a training flight when his F8U Crusader collided with another over the Caribbean Sea in 1955; Viola returned to Miami. She taught first grade in Dade County and then met her beloved husband of more than 50 years, James Lawrence Waugh, Jr. They moved to Palm Beach, Florida where they raised 5 children. She taught first grade in Palm Beach County and was a substitute teacher there as well. They retired to Stuart, Florida in 1989, where her husband James loved to fish and Viola taught adults to read through the Martin County Literacy Council. Viola and James enjoyed playing bridge and their nightly backgammon game.
She was a member of Memorial Presbyterian Church in West Palm Beach and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was also an accomplished seamstress and particularly delighted in sewing clothes and costumes for her children and grandchildren. After her husband James passed away in 2016, Viola moved to Summit, New Jersey where she lived with her daughter, Francie Cho. In Summit, she attended Central Presbyterian Church. She is survived by her stepdaughters Lee Ann Elfers (Fred Elfers) and Carolyn Jane Waugh, her daughter Joan “Francie” Cho (Yon Cho) and son John Frederick Waugh. Her stepson William Scott Waugh, predeceased her. She is also survived by her grandchildren Fred Elfers Jr, Elizabeth Elfers Green, Tyler Waugh Carlson, Clara Cho, James Cho, William Cho and John Cho and great grandchildren Lorelei Elfers, Landon Elfers, Wyatt Green, Brody Green and Grayson Green. She is also survived by her nieces Cheryl McWhorter Star, Gail McWhorter Hansen and Shauna McWhorter Tucker and nephew Shane McWhorter, and nephews Charles L. Siemon, James L. Siemon, Robert L. Siemon and George L. Siemon and niece Margaret Ruth Siemon. She is further survived by numerous great and great great-nieces and nephews.