Viola Hronis Trust
Viola (Spader) Hronis was the oldest of five girls born to a Swedish immigrant farmer who settled close to Waverly, Nebraska. She fell in love with a Greek immigrant, William Hronis, who came to operate the Lincoln Air Force Base canteen. Following the base’s closing, they established The Famous, a small café at 16th and O Street that served basic meals to students, businessmen, and blue-collar workers. Bill and Vi lived simply, returning every evening on foot to their small apartment in the shadow of the Nebraska Capitol Building.
Before moving to Eastmont Towers at age ninety-one, Vi lived quietly for thirty-nine years in the same apartment, caring for plants and shrubs as well as feeding and watering her squirrels (who showed their appreciation by chewing up the power steering wiring on her car).
Viola was a silent contributor to several music, education, and hospital organizations. “I’m just a simple, uneducated person.” “I’m an old lady!!” were her two favorite expressions, yet her love of the arts and support of music compositions and capital improvements for the Lincoln Children’s Museum and Morrill Hall are appreciated by many. In 2004 she received the Mayor and Lincoln Arts Council’s Halcyon Allsman Benefactor of the Arts Award.