Violet Wilma “Vi” Frost was born May 2, 1928 in Napa to Wilbur and Mirian (Vanoni), both native Californians. She passed away peacefully with family by her side on January 8, 2018.

She attended elementary andhigh school in Napa, graduating Napa High School in 1946 and Napa Junior College in 1948. After graduation she enrolled at Children’s Hospital School of Nursing in San Francisco and graduated in 1952.

While attending nursing school she married her highschool sweetheart, the late Ray Painter at Fort Ord, in Monterey. Violet and Ray were married 60 years and had four children — Greg, Steven, Susan and Alex.

She was employed by Children’s Hospital in San Francisco before moving back to Napa and working at the Napa State Hospital.

Violet and Ray moved to Humboldt County in 1957. She continued her nursing profession at St. Joseph Hospital before taking a job with Dr. John B. Slater, where she worked for over 20 years before retiring in 1985.

Her life changed after the birth of her son Alex in 1963. Alex was diagnosed with autism. She devoted countless hours to ensure that the developmentally disabled were afforded the same rights and privileges as all citizens, serving on the Area I Developmental Disabilities Board in the 1970s. She was instrumental in developing programs in Eureka for the developmentally disabled and was actively involved with Alex’s education until late in life.

Aside from caring for Alex, she loved to travel and be in the company of her family and friends. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother. Violet and Ray took their young family on many camping trips over the years.

After retirement they began to travel in earnest: RVing the United States, houseboating on lakes and the Delta, riding narrow gauge railroads, swimming with the dolphins, viewing the aurora borealis, polar bears in their Arctic habitat, and tropical sunsets. She enjoyed her travels immensely.

Violet is predeceased by her parents; husband Ray Painter; and siblings Daniel Frost, Jean Poali, Kenneth Frost and Bertram Frost. She is survived by her children — Greg Painter (Greta) of Willow Creek, Steven Painter (Donna) of Eureka, Susan Lewis (Dean) of Fortuna and Alex Painter of Eureka — her grandchildren, Tara Lewis, Nicholas Painter, Erin Painter, Stephanie Frimond, Kevin Lewis; and great-granddaughter, Violet. She is also survived by her brother, Wesley Frost, of Napa.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Brookdale Fortuna for the care they provided to our mother over the past three years, and Hospice of Humboldt for the comfort and care they provided during her last month.

A private graveside memorial will be held for the family on Monday, Jan. 22.. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Hospice of Humboldt or your favorite charity.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Violet Painter’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.