I think part of his success was neglect --- pure and simple
They did have a lovely bright window to live in
Unfortunately when he was in the hospital before his death my brother in law did his best to keep them going......
he loved them too much with watering
When my father in law died I grabbed them up.
I really really tried to keep them alive but well maybe they missed his caring for them and they were a wee bit water logged :-(.
I have purchased violets for myself and have had a lot of luck with them.
They reward me with lovely little flowers and when they drop their sweet velvety leaves I root them up.
Right now I have about 7 little leaves that are almost ready to be potted up
I cut the leaves with about an inch stem ---- dip them in rooting hormone
---- slip them into their own little baggy greenhouse -----
and wait , checking regulary.
After a couple weeks give the plantling a little tug. If there is resistance they are rooting. I sometimes wait til I see a little tiny secondary leaf popping thru. Then again sometimes I get too impatient and plant up the sprouting leaf....