The first person to teach me about leadership and good communications on a minute-to-minute and day-by-day basis, who showed me what it means to be a leader in abstract as well as pragmatic ways, left us all on June 7.

My mother, Lorene Horaney, died peacefully and without pain at age 87 (almost 88) after a long and busy life, one that was dominated — happily we like to think and do believe — by family care and the nurturing of four little souls to adulthood.

Mom was both parents to us for more than 30 years, after our father died in 1977. With responsibility for children who, at Dad’s death, ranged from early grade school to the middle of college, and a job of her own, she had a full plate and then some.

But she was steady and kept moving ahead and put to use everything she knew — and  taught us, too.

Mom’s lessons and teachings? Among them were some of the eternals we associate with mothers and leadership, good leaders:  always, always tell the truth, don’t give up, try a little harder. But most of all, she was a fanatic about her own original, which was “get a name and a number.”

My Mom was a champion advocate for her kids and a wonderful researcher. In an age well before the web and Wikipedia, home pages and smart phones, Mom was relentless in following a lead, getting information by phone, and pinning down the right thing to do on behalf of us.

Her tenacity paid off for her four children who wanted to go to college — and did. She figured out over and over — when it came to applications, forms, financial aid — whom to call, with whom to speak, what to do and what to do next. She spent a lot of time on her beloved landline on the kitchen wall during the 25+ years we all went through grade school, high school and college.

Today, we four are all pretty dogged in pursuit of information and knowledge for our own families. We are solid as a group and individually about the importance of doing whatever it is we do both well and right. We got that from Mom, no question. Her influence and impact were huge and positive. Our productivity is a testimony to her great modeling and leadership. We will miss you greatly now, Mom.

You were our first mentor for leadership and we were all so fortunate that you were there. Thank you. And rest assured (and you know this, Mom) that although you, our first mentor, are now not on the other end of the phone on a Sunday morning or on the other side of the back door into the kitchen, your example as a leader and your strong, good values live on and burn brightly in us and, in turn, in our children, as well.