Happy Mother’s Day! Spectrum staff salutes their moms


May means Mother’s Day. And yes, The Las Vegas Spectrum staff does have mothers, too. Considering some of them have to put up with us, even when deadlines approach, we thought we would take a couples pages to honor them, and in some cases, just remember the impact they’ve had on our lives. This year we decided to share our mothers with you. Enjoy!

Rob Schlegel, Publisher
My mother, Elsie Schlegel, 1929 – 2008. We “lost” her somewhere around 2007 from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. My mother taught me to value other people, always treat others respectfully and to be honest. While accepting my sexual orientation was difficult for her, she always accepted and loved me. In later years, she came to realize things weren’t as cut and dried as she once believed. Above all, she wanted me to be happy and to have a partner. I am certain, if my mother were here, today, she would not only accept my husband, Lucas, but she would love him as much as she loved me.

Lucas Navarro-Schlegel, Marketing and Sales
I grew up in the Philippines. My mother passed away in 2004, due to breast cancer. My mom always said, “When there is reason to fight, fight for it.” She taught me to be strong, like she was. She always fought for the rights of others, was a philanthropist, put our entire family through school, and that includes most of my cousins and the kids of those who worked for her. I’m sure she’s very happy that I met and married Rob Schlegel. While she is no longer with us, I’m sure she was watching and cheering me on when I said, “I do.” She always said, when I was little, that she hoped one day to have a gay son or lesbian daughter. I guess she got her wish.

Lucas Navarro-Schlegel holding a photo of his mother.

Marcus Grisom, aka Kitty Litter, Columnist
In 1996 when I (Marcus’ mother) gave birth, there were two facts I couldn’t know as I held my baby. I would never have any more children and my child would grow up to be gay, which I learned when Mark introduced me to his partner, as a young adult. He’s also a drag queen and a healthy, quarterback size. My seamstress talents have been put to use. Butterrick doesn’t do paterns in his size! As I look back over the years I have shared with this incredible person, I will share yet another Mother’s Day. I will gladly forego cards, flowers, dinner … just give me a hug and share a laugh. – From Mark’s mom

Marcus Grisom, aka Kitty Litter, and his mom.

Tonya Harvey, Chief Photographer
My mom is smart, kind, funny, and strong. She is my favorite storyteller, my loudest cheerleader and I tease her that she lives in LaLa Land on Twinkle Star Street. We did really live on Twinkle Star! My point is that she accepts life as it is but finds the best in it and shares that with the world. A two-time survivor of breast cancer and a woman who married the love of her life, only to sadly lose him at her young age of 44 and still now she will tell you she misses him. The joy, the laughter, the sorrow and tears — she is better for it and the world is better because she’s in it. I’m so glad she’s my mom.

Tonya Harvey and her mom.

Sheila Hacco Art Director
One of the most important people in my life, my mom, or as I called her Ima, (mother in Hebrew), passed away five years ago. I don’t think that there has been anyone who has loved me the way she did, well, maybe my dogs, lol. I could do no wrong in her eyes. She never ever judged me in any way, and always wanted me to do whatever and be with whomever made me happy. She was such a wonderful person to everyone. She was very thoughtful, caring, gentle, strong and a loving human being. Those are some of the many things that I learned from her and admired about her. Wherever I go and whatever I do, she will always be in my thoughts.

Sheila Hacco, holding a photograph of her mom, Ima (mother in Hebrew).

Judy Bowen, Adviser, Historian
My mother, Ida, gave me wings to be myself. She had eight children and realizing early that I was not like the others she decided to just let me be me. So GREATFUL to my GOD OF LOVE FOR GIVING ME TO HER. This year I will be 75 and have accomplished a lot in my lifetime. So grateful for everyone that has come into my life and helped me along the way.

Judy Bowen, holding a photograph of her mother, Ida, and others.

Cyntha Hall, Writer, Photographer
My mom, Kathy Hall, will be celebrating her 89th birthday this year. A mother of four, she spent most of her time in Las Vegas as a school nurse, retiring in the early 1990’s. Mom taught me to always be a fair and open-minded person. To always try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and know we all have our own stories to tell.

Kathy and Cyntha Hall

Lyn Collier, Editor
This is me with my my mother, Addie Collier. It was her last Thanksgiving Day here on Earth. I loved my mom and miss her. Wherever you are mom, may you be very happy and surrounded with everything beautiful.

Lyn Collier and Addie Collier.

Terry Wilsey, Partner, Travel Writer, Marketing
My Mother, Emily Elizabeth Belk Wilsey was always active. She was a tennis champ, majored in physical therapy at U. of Wisconsin and was even the attending physical therapist to FDR, and the president’s driver at times. A doctor’s wife in the 1950’s, she had three kids, loved to golf, ski and bowl. She was a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood and volunteered at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, until I became a Cub Scout. The rest of her life she was the ultimate “Den Mother” and a 60 year Girl Scout Mother, Leader and serious “pedal pusher” as in bicycles. Our classic family Christmas photo is as a biker family. All on bikes and me with training wheels. She celebrated her 75th birthday leading a 75 mile “bike hike” for her Brownies, Girl Scouts, their kids and some grandkids. She spent almost her last hour pedaling her recumbent bike exercycle, while watching Oprah, a daily routine. She passed gently looking east at the sunrise as a harpist played and the sun went down.

Terry Wilsey, holding a photograph of his mother, Emily Elizabeth Belk Wilsey.