Bits of wisdom from Mom have been chronicled for years, which led the Enquirer to ask prominent Tristaters to recall the most important lesson they learned from their mothers. A recurring theme emerged: Work hard, but always put family first. Here's a look at lessons from 23 mothers who helped shape the lives of Greater Cincinnatians. Megan McKnight - Aimee Hurst
Megan McKnight and Aimee Hurst are 18-year-old seniors and co-captains of the Badin High School girls basketball team in Hamilton. In March, Megan and Aimee helped lead the Rams to the school's first girls team championship. (Their team won the Division II state title by defeating Dover High School, south of Canton.)
Megan says she follows the advice of her mother (Karen) when it comes to school, work and sports. "She always told all of us (she has two younger siblings) that you never have a second chance to make a first impression. That first impression is the one people always hold of you."
Aimee believes that you should "treat everyone the way that you'd want to be treated." Aimee says her mother (Peggy) has always instilled this lesson in her and her siblings.
Among the many lessons Joe Nuxhall learned from his mother growing up in Hamilton was the importance of giving back to the community. "She was always participating in things at her church. She was always ready to help out," said the Cincinnati Reds broadcaster and former pitcher about his mother, Naomi Purdy of Hamilton.
Mrs. Purdy, 89, and her famous son, 69, twice have teamed in recent years to give a helping hand. They were pictured together on campaign literature supporting passage of elderly services tax levies in Butler County (1996) and Hamilton County (1997). Mr. Nuxhall was honorary chairman of both successful campaigns.
Mr. Nuxhall also said his mother stressed that her children wake up promptly every morning, be on time for school, eat all their food and keep their rooms tidy.
"I'm getting better at that last one, as I get older, though my wife wouldn't agree," he said.
Jerry Carroll, 53, owner of Turfway Park, grew up in Aurora, Ind.
"I learned from her (Marge Carroll), more than anything, to respect other people. She taught me to understand that no matter what comes up in your personal agenda, other people have their own lives and those lives are as important as yours.
"The offshoot of that is she taught me to always give something back, and it doesn't matter if you never see anything in return. You do, of course, see great rewards when you give back, but they're often very quiet and very personal."
She has written the last of the thank-you notes from people who attended her mother's funeral. And she has cleaned out her mother's files.
She has also accepted numerous posthumous awards on her mother's behalf in the last nine months.
Alison Boynton, 28, figures it's time to move to the next phase of life, go back to college and get a doctorate in psychology.
It's what her mother, the late Elaine Boynton, would want.
Mrs. Boynton, 53, a 1996 Enquirer Woman of the Year and community health advocate, died Aug. 12, 1997, from breast cancer. Alison left her job as a massage therapist in Colorado to spend time and volunteer with her mother while she was sick.
"She taught me how to live, and I think that's really important," says Alison of Hyde Park. Her mother was president of Corporate Health Consultants and was involved in numerous women's health education and advocacy groups.
"One major thing she always told me comes back to this whole learning thing," Alison says. "I have a form of dyslexia and I don't learn the way most people do. I'm a very visual person.
"My mom told me never to take no for an answer. You set your goals. You don't take "No' for an answer, and you don't stop until you find somebody who says "Yes.' "
And the really incredible part about that advice?
"You always find somebody who says "Yes.' "
Ross Love, 51, of Clifton, president and CEO of Blue Chip Broadcasting, grew up in Philadelphia and moved to Cincinnati about 30 years ago. He and his wife, Cheryl, have two adultchildren, Jonathan and Ayanna. "I recall two things my mother, LaDoris, had me believing in at a very early age. She, above all things, believed it was important to be good. It was more than teaching the difference between right and wrong; it was about always doing the right thing, even if it was hard or personally painful -- and it was about being nice, never mean. "Possibly the most important thing she did was coax me into believing that I could do virtually anything I put my mind to."