Viola Hollis

Honored by:Brendalyn Reinhardt Shird
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I have called a remarkable woman Grandma for as long as I can remember. Her name is Viola Hollis and she means more to me than I can possibly express with words. In 1967 Mrs. Hollis and her late husband Glen became my foster parents. I was just three-months-old when I came to live at their ranch in Mt. Aukum, California.

With me came my brother Lloyd and sisters Carol and Jean three almost-teenagers who had already spent two years in foster care. I can barely imagine being in my 50s and agreeing to take in not one but four children knowing that I would receive scarcely enough money from the state to feed and clothe them but that's just what the Hollises did! I lived with the Hollises for three years experiencing unconditional love and a simple beautiful life that revolved around hard work and devotion to family and friends.

Some of my fondest memories are of banging the piano keyboard alongside Grandma as she made beautiful music of playing tea party with Grandpa and of skipping along the sidewalk while dreaming of Grandma's fried chicken and mashed potatoes. The three years I made my home with them was long enough to forge a bond that remains unbroken by time and distance. Wherever I am whatever I do I know that I can count on my grandma to love and accept me as I am. Hers is a place I still call home. I am only one of many children whose lives were touched by this generous woman. In addition to raising three sons of her own Vi provided foster care for more than 70 children between the mid-1940s and early 1970s.