Michigan Matters: Celebrating First Lady Betty Ford & Frankenmuth's Dorothy Zehnder
Southfield (CBS Detroit) - As Women's History Month continues, it's a "Michigan Matters" spotlight on two dynamic leaders from our state – former First Lady Betty Ford and Dorothy Zehnder, the 101-year-old restaurant owner from Frankenmuth.
Susan Ford Bales, daughter of the late First Lady and President Gerald Ford, who now lives in Texas, talked with Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain about her Mother and the White House years in this special encore episode. Bales was a teen when her Dad was suddenly thrust into the presidency after President Richard M. Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal.
Bales talked about her Mother, who was raised in Grand Rapids, and how she talked with such candor about important issues that were controversial at the time including substance abuse and alcohol addiction, and surviving breast cancer, as Mrs. Ford also dealt with them.
Bales recalled lighter moments too including having her high school prom at the White House.
Donald Holloway, former curator of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, also appeared with Cain to talk about Mrs. Ford's impact. He also discussed the unique relationship between the late President and Mrs. Ford.
Then Dorothy Zehnder, who turned 101 on Dec. 1, 2022, discusses her inspiring life and career as she helped build Bavarian Inn Restaurant in Frankenmuth with her late husband, Tiny. Several generations of the family work there.
Judith Zehnder Keller, founder and President of Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Lodge, the couple's daughter, also worked in the business. Mrs. Keller, who died last year of cancer, talked about her Mother and her impact. Dorothy was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 2020.
Mrs. Keller also was a trailblazer for women in business as well as politics as she shared thoughts on how things have changed for women through the years.
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