‘Late Show’ employee remembers Dorothy Mengering’s enthusiasm and kindness

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Dorothy Mengering has a place in late night television history with her down-home charm and offbeat humor.

The mother of Indianapolis native and Late Show Host, Dave Letterman, passed away Tuesday at the age of 95.

She started her television career by covering the Olympics in Norway.  Shortly thereafter she traveled to London, continuing her “reports’ by traveling on double decker buses and yucking it up with Dave outside Buckingham Palace, referring to it as Oprah’s home.

She may be best known for the regular live reports she would do from her Carmel Home around the holidays.

Steve Sweitzer worked on many of those live remotes from her home.  He told CBS4 Dorothy was always enthusiastic and kind.

“She was as sweet and kind and thoughtful as you can imagine,” says Sweitzer.  “But she was always the boss. She’d do the top ten list, but if there was something in that list that she wasn’t comfortable with, out it would go.”

Sweitzer says he and several others would work on those live remotes for close to 15 thanksgiving appearances.

They became a small family, with whom she would get to know very closely.  Diane Giles did her make up after Dorothy took a fall and blackened an eye.  She became Dorothy’s local make- up artist for every remote after that.

David Letterman was born and raised in Indianapolis with his two sisters. He never forgot where he came from, and neither did Dorothy.

“He just lived down the street here,” says Sweitzer. “He worked at Atlas Supermarket over here as a kid. She was the neighborhood lady almost. She was as Indiana as you could get. She was special. I’ll always have a warm place for her.”

A memorial service is planned for Dorothy Mengering at Second Presbyterian Church.  Details are forthcoming.

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