Perennial winner: Person you’d most like to have lunch with

Moya Lear

Moya Lear

Photo By David Robert

Moya Lear

It’s tough to believe that it’s been less than three months since Moya Lear, 85, underwent lung surgery.

Within two months of the operation, which took place in July, the widow of the late William Lear, of Learjet fame, resumed her thrice-weekly workout regimen at a local gym.

We caught up with Lear, after her weekly manicure, for soup at Harrah’s Steakhouse, where the woman has been a regular since she and her husband left Beverly Hills for Reno in 1968.

“I’ve never been a big eater,” she says, “but I’ve always had the energy to do the things that I want to do.”

Those things include leading the effort to complete the Reno performing arts theater that bears her name. The woman is a longtime donor to numerous programs for children and community groups. She helped initiate the theater project in 1997 with a $1.1 million donation to the Theater Coalition. The group used the money to purchase the Lear Theater site on Riverside Drive, the former Christian Science Church where Lear attended services and taught Sunday school for about 30 years.

“Reno needs this theater," says Lear. The daughter of a touring comedian grew up with a love for the stage. "There are people in town who would love to go to the theater and see live performances. We can draw people from San Francisco and Lake Tahoe and everywhere."