When Alice Williamson spoke about her and her husband, Robert’s, support of important causes, she did so in an understated, modest manner. "You just give where your heart is," she explained. "You share."
The Williamsons’ support of ophthalmic care at UNMC, Alice shared in 2007, reflected her parent’s philanthropic nature and belief in helping mankind.
"Our hearts go out to people who have had problems with their vision," said Williamson, who underwent multiple surgeries for corrective vision. Her mother had macular degeneration, too.
"It was so frustrating to her," Alice remembered of her mother. "We know her last days would have been so much happier if she had been able to see well enough to read."
Alice later recalled a phone call from a woman regarding a friend who had gone through rehab at the UNMC Weigel Williamson Center for Visual Rehabilitation. "Alice, this woman is a different person now. She says, ‘I now have hope,’" the caller told her. The Williamsons along with Alice’s sister and husband, Beth and Harry Weigel, MD, were principal donors to the facility that carries their names. It was dedicated in 2008.
A phone call like that meant a lot to Alice who died in 2012. It would have meant a lot to her parents, too. It was proof that extraordinary things happen because of a family whose giving is anything but ordinary.
Both Alice and Robert earned degrees from the University of Nebraska: Alice from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1950; and Robert from Omaha University in 1948. Following graduation Alice taught in Omaha for five years and then pursued a graduate degree at Columbia University. Robert went on to become a district manager for Owens Corning. The Williamsons lived in Houston until 1993, when they returned to Omaha.