Kiwanis International mourns the death of Dorothy Mengering, known to many as "Dave's Mom." The mother of former late-night comedian David Letterman was a longtime Kiwanian and champion of children. She helped raise more than US$100,000 in Kiwanis' effort to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders. Undoubtedly, those funds changed the lives of thousands of children and saved them from the health effects of the leading preventable cause of mental and developmental disabilities in the world. Dorothy Mengering was 95.
Kiwanis International looks back on Mengering's life with this article published in the March 1998 edition of the Kiwanis magazine.
'Dave's Mom' adds wit to convention
For the second year in a row, the lady who raised late-night television king David Letterman will attend a Kiwanis International convention. Dorothy Mengering, known by many as "Dave's Mom," will be in Montreal for the 83rd Annual Kiwanis International Convention, July 3–7 (1998). She will share her homespun wisdom at the convention's Open Luncheon.
Mengering was featured in 1994 as Winter Olympic Games "correspondent" for the Late Show with David Letterman. Since then, she has published Home Cookin' with Dave's Mom, a book that has pleased many stomachs and raised more than US$100,000 for Kiwanis' Worldwide Service Project. (She has earmarked a portion of the book's proceeds for the virtual elimination of iodine deficiency disorders.)
In 1997, Mengering roved the Nashville Convention much the same way she did the 1994 Winter Olympics. With a camerman at her side, she interviewed Kiwanians and other convention attendees, including celebrities such as Naomi Judd and Eunice Kennedy Shriver. At the convention's Closing Session, an edited video of the interviews left no question as to where Letterman got his wit and dry humor. The Nashville Arena was filled with laughter. (Watch the video from 1997.)