David Letterman honored his mother, Dorothy Mengering, with a eulogy on Saturday at her funeral in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Star reports he shared a story of Mengering seeing a snake in her garden, going to get a hoe and returning to chop off its head.
“My mother is Grizzly Adams for God’s sake,” Letterman said.
Mengering was a correspondent on her son’s show, baking mystery desserts for “Guess Mom’s Pies” and covering three Winter Olympics. She passed away at her home last Tuesday at the age of 95.
Letterman said he remembers Late Show executives saying, “We should have your mother on the show all the time.” They added, “People like her better than you.”
The former late-night host said his work ethic is modeled after his mother, whom he said was always busy. “We didn’t want for anything because of my mom,” said Letterman.
The eldest of three children, Dorothy Hofert was born on July 18, 1921, in Linton, Indiana. She studied at Indiana University, and in 1942, she married Harry Joseph Letterman, who had a florist shop. He died of a heart attack in 1973. (Dave’s son, Harry, is named after him.)
Ten years later, she wed Hans P. Mengering, a retired structural engineer for an Indianapolis architectural firm. The World War II veteran died in March 2013.