Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

She and Amadeo expected all their children to go to college, and seven of them earned degrees, including advanced ones. The other child, who left college to get married, now owns a successful art gallery. Fields chosen by other siblings include teaching, the law, accounting and aviation, to name some. Now those grown-up men and women are instilling equally firm values in their own children.

A large number of friends and neighbors feel that they too are part of Viola's "family," so wide is her concern and love. A woman of enormous energy and involvement, she has won several cooking contests, as well as more than 30 medals in Senior Olympic events. She has been an election worker, a political activist, a volunteer in various causes. Though her husband died in 2002, Viola remains quite active in her mid-80s. She is revered by her family, whom she taught: "There are reasons to be poor, but dirty and lazy, no."