David Letterman's mother, Dorothy Mengering, passed away this week at age 95, a day before her famous son turned 70.
Mengering, who became a beloved fixture on the late night comedian's show in the '90s, was a quiet woman who worked as a church secretary, but that didn't mean she wasn't game for a laugh.
While she's likely best known for her Olympics coverage (in 1994, 1998 and 2002), her first appearance on the show had her shouting out of Letterman's studio window in a fake kidnapping scheme:
The love between Dorothy and her adult son was apparent in every appearance they had together, whether he was guessing the pies she was baking for Thanksgiving or her amazingly deadpan face as she reeled off one of Dave's Top 10 lists ("His date for the senior prom? You're looking at her.").
Bill Walton gives a 'Where''s Walton' t-shirt to David Letterman''s mom during his 30 games in 30 days tour in 2002 Indianapolis, Indiana.
In this montage he made in honour of her for Mother's Day in 2015, it was easy to see how beautifully an adult child and mother can interact:
In an obituary written by David and his two sisters, Jan and Gretchen, in Dorothy's hometown paper the Indianapolis Star, they noted, "Though her quiet life took a detour into the spotlight as she flawlessly stepped into the role of Olympics correspondent and pie baker on her son’s late night television show, she never lost her unassuming demeanor, a perfect foil for his comedy and her full life."
And as for why people everywhere seemed to love her so much? As she wrote in her 1996 cookbook, 'Home Cookin' with Dave's Mom,' “People enjoy seeing a mother and son together. It’s that simple.”
Dorothy Mengering signs her new book 'Home Cookin' with Dave's Mom' on April 19, 1996.