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Cornelius News

Sunday May 12 is Mother’s Day

It’s been more than a century since our country started to officially observe Mother’s Day. The holiday has grown into a tremendous boost for the economy, a day when restaurants are filled to the brim, and also the busiest day for phone calls annually—yes, busier than Thanksgiving or Christmas.

We asked a few residents to share reflections on mothers and motherhood.


Linda Carter Griffin by Mike Griffin.

Mom lead by example. Her unparalleled grace and humility is proven by her having no enemies. She always goes the extra mile to truly understand another person’s perspective. I was reminded of her humility when I was recently told by one of her high school classmates that mom was homecoming queen at Harding High. She never once mentioned this to me. Thank you Mom for teaching us skills that are vital to long-term success in business and life.

—Griffin is a partner at Griffin Brothers Cos. in Cornelius


Lula Bell Houston by William Miller

After raising us kids and working 60 years at Davidson College, she would always call me to see how I was doing, especially when I was keeping my great-grandson alone. At the end of our conversation she would always tell me she loved me and the kids.

—A new student resource center at Davidson College, called Lula Bell’s, is named for William’s mother


From a special mom: ‘Isn’t every child special?’ by Janelle Masters

Being a mom is an extra special job that no one can every truly be prepared for,  especially when four of them arrive in five years and the youngest has unique circumstances. Some call these kids “special needs” kids, but isn’t every child special? Each child teaches in their own way but when that unique one comes into your life they teach in a way that no one else can. Avery Grace has been that child for me. She has allowed me to view life differently, view people differently, appreciate the little things much more than I would have otherwise.   It is a privilege to be called “Mom.”

—Janelle is mom to little Avery Grace. She has Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also known as

    brittle bone disease.


‘Thank you Mom’ by Thurman Ross

By Thurman Ross

All I am I owe to my mother. Thank you for being the strength and the backbone of the family! There is no way I can ever thank her enough. She knows each of us—all six—and knows when each may need a hug. She’s the one who has stood by my side as my No. 1 supporter and source of encouragement. She is the one who instilled in me strong values and morals. I want to thank her for protecting us as kids and making the sacrifices to make sure we had what we needed. And, as adults, being that listening ear when we needed someone to talk to. And for truly believing that a family that prays together stays together. And, most importantly, knowing just when she needed to see us all in one place at one time by summoning us all to Sunday dinner.

—Thurman Ross is a long-time member of the Cornelius Town Board


Eleanor Duke by Jim Duke

When I was three years old my father died and my mother was left with the task of raising four very active youngsters ages 1 to 7 on her own.  Eleanor Duke was the adult in my life and framed my character and interests to this day.  She could spot a phony a mile away and did not hesitate to stand up for herself and family when many women shied away from speaking up. She loved her children, worked full-time, and embodied a wholesome respect for good people. Her strong character, work ethic and steady hand with four children taught me much. As a single parent, she often had to employ the simple logic with us, “what would a good father do?” Most importantly, she taught me an abiding respect for women.Mom for teaching us skills that are vital to long-term success in business and life.

—Jim Duke is a former Cornelius town commissioner. His mother passed away at age 82


Even mothers have doubts by Dr. Mike Miltich

My mother was of German upbringing. She was fairly formal, mindful of manners and proper etiquette. She loved the arts and travel; performers and international visitors came to our house. When I got married, she said, “I hope your life won’t be too easy.” What a strange mother’s wish! But she knew things had to be earned to be appreciated. And I respected her for that viewpoint. She passed away years ago from cancer. In the end, we six kids took rotations caring for her. One time when we were alone, she told me she never felt truly loved, and shed a tear. It was the only time I ever saw her cry. We have an azalea that she gave me. When it blooms, I know she’s smiling at me. Despite what she might have said or thought, she was indeed truly loved.

—Miltich is Mayor Pro Tem of Cornelius


Jan Black by Shannon McNeill

My mom and I have always been close all of my life; she was definitely meant to be my mom! Growing up, my childhood had some ups and downs, and my mom and I often had to lean on each other in a way, which I believe is what really strengthened our relationship. She was definitely a parent when she needed to be, but ultimately we have just always been best friends and have only grown closer as I have gotten older myself. I only hope that I can be half as good of a Mom as mine was when my time comes!

—Jan Black is an event director and photographer in Cornelius