KENNEWICK — There will be an empty seat at the Sons of Norway annual lutefisk dinner Feb. 4.
Viola Williams of Kennewick, known for her baking skills, especially pies, cookies and the Scandinavian flat bread, lefse, won't be there this week.
Williams, 87, was found dead just before 3 p.m. Friday in her home at Sun Meadows Mobile Home Park off 19th Avenue in Kennewick.
"Everyone in the Sons of Norway are shocked," said Audrey Blegen of Kennewick. "Just last Tuesday we were all making lefse at church. She was always there, even if she couldn't roll out the lefse she would turn them on the griddle. And she did other things too; she told me she had made the spritz cookies and would bring them to the dinner.
"She will be missed by a lot of people, not just because she was a good worker, but a very nice person too," she said.
Blegen has known Williams for many years through the Sons of Norway and the First Lutheran Church in Kennewick where both are members.
Next door neighbor Lois Mullen of Kennewick called Williams "a true neighbor you could depend on. I moved here in 1994, and she became an immediate friend. I can't think of being here without her."
Each morning, Mullen would raise the shade in her computer room, the signal to Williams that she was up and about. The two women helped each other with errands, yard work and every day chores.
"If she was baking and needed something, Vi always knew she could run over here and get it from me. I did the same. We were always running back and forth. We have a regular path between our houses," Mullen said.
Mullen said Williams leaves behind a son, a daughter and grandchildren.
"They're a compatible family with a nice, comfortable relationship," Mullen said.
"That family will have a big empty space in it," Blegen said.
Early Saturday afternoon, police and crime scene investigators from the Kennewick Police Department and the Washington State Patrol still were at Williams' home.
Benton County Coroner John Hansens said Williams' body was moved to the county morgue Saturday afternoon. How she died can't be determined until after the autopsy, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, he said.
"I can confirm however there are stab wounds," Hansens said.
Adam Ryan Williams, 28, a relative, was detained and interviewed by the Kennewick police on Friday.
He is in the Benton County jail under a 72-hour investigative hold for homicide, Officer Craig Hanson said Saturday.
"There are no other persons of interest in this case," Hanson said.