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. Alex Chin
Alex Chin is owner of Pacific Moon Cafe in Montgomery. He left Hong Kong and his mother, Leung Kwan, for the United States at age 17 to pursue an education.
"My mother told me to always pay attention," he says. "Whether it was being a student and paying attention in class, or in whatever I chose for a career, she said to be aware of everything going on around me."
And has he taken her advice?
"Absolutely. It's the same advice I give my son (Bryan, age 16)."
Mr. Chin didn't learn to cook from his mother, though. "In China, boys don't go into the kitchen. After I left home, I didn't see her for nine years. She never believed that I could cook. After I saw her again, she showed me a few home-cooking things."
Mrs. Kwan now cooks for her son and his family every night. She moved from Hong Kong in August and lives with the Chins in their Montgomery home.
Actress Vicki Lewis, 37, who will appear in this summer's Godzilla, says this of her mother, Marlene Lewis, of Anderson Township: "My mother taught me the virtues of hard work and honesty. She always encouraged me to follow and trust my instincts. She taught me how to give love unconditionally because her love had patience."
Rita Kohn "is a hoot," according to daughter Sharon Kohn, the first female cantor in Greater Cincinnati.
Sharon Kohn, 40, chants liturgical music at Isaac M. Wise Temple in Amberley Village and downtown and teaches at Hebrew Union College. A resident of Indianapolis, CantorKohn's mother is a poet, journalist and playwright.
Kindness and spontaneity are important to Rita Kohn. She taught her daughter the importance of "giving with an open hand and a warm hand without expecting anything in return."
Eduardo Perez, a first baseman with the Reds, says his mother, Pituka, set a positive example for him through her words and deeds. "Treat everyone with respect, and they'll treat you the same way," says Mr. Perez, 28. "Be grateful for everything you have, for who you are. Be humble, Be yourself. It's that simple."
Mrs. Perez, wife of former Reds manager and all-star Tony Perez, was a popular Reds wife during her many years in Cincinnati. Eduardo was born at Good Samaritan Hospital.
"Everybody loves her," he says. "If you observe her all your life, and you realize what she lives like, it's not that hard to understand it. We picked up on it. She articulated it. She made you realize there was a right way to treat people."