Viola Kohout Bach was born on December 1st, 1911 in Maple Lake, Minnesota. Vi and her parents homesteaded on the northeastern plains of South Dakota where her brother Bud and her sister Peggy were born. Following the death of her father in the 1918 flu epidemic Viola and her family returned to Maple Lake, MN to live on her grandparent's farm.
Viola met her first husband, Frank Kohout, at a dance in Big Lake, Minnesota, dancing to the music of Lawrence Welk. Vi and Frank were married on the 4th of July 1937. They had three sons: Lawrence Duane, Richard Harlan, and John Charles. Vi was active in DFL politics most of her adult life, fundraising for Hubert Humphrey and hosting teas for Eugene McCarthy. She was an active worker for human equality including her work with the Rainbow Club, the Japanese/American Center, and her participation in Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington DC in August 1963.
She worked in many volunteer roles in the Minneapolis School System, in which Frank was a teacher. Likewise, she was an active volunteer at Gethsemane Episcopal Church in Minneapolis. She worked in the Episcopal Church diocesan office following Frank's death in 1965. In late 1971, she met Anthony Bach and they were married in 1972 and remained married until his death in August 1984.
Viola "Vi" Kohout Bach passed away on April 13, 2004. A memorial was established in her honor in 2004 with Heifer Foundation from gifts from friends and family. Every year, income from the Viola Kohout Bach Memorial Endowment will be used by Heifer International to help families produce food and income for themselves.