There is no doubt about the influence Phyllis Schlafly has had on leaders over the years. She’s been loved by them across the world. President Ronald Reagan , the Pope, Legislators, and so many other interviewers from news media and various places all loved talking with her. She is an intelligent woman with great strength, character and poised with a smile and looking like the great lady that she is. It was my pleasure to meet Phyllis in 1979 when she and a feminist were interviewed at WXYZ-TV by John Kelly. Following that, Marion Dalton served all of us Eagles lunch at her Bloomfield Hills, MI home. That’s when I met Elaine Donnelly, Donna Anagnostou, Hulda Piercecchi, Najla Lataif, Beth Skousen, and so many others. My life had and has expanded over the years with all the amazing people that I met.
The National Republican Convention was held in 1980 in Detroit. Several of us helped with organizing the week before with interviews and media contact. We hosted out of town Eagles at our homes. Alyse O’Neill and Lucille Biggenhouse stayed at our home.
From November 19-21, 1985, Eagle Forum friends from across the U.S. went with Phyllis to Geneva, Switzerland in support of U.S. President Ronald Reagan during the 1985 Geneva Summit with the General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev. Our Michigan Delegation consisted of Marion Dalton, Beth Skousen, Elaine Donnelly, Najla Lataif and myself. Kitty Werthman set up our hotel and agenda. This was an opportunity to meet with more wonderful people from across the nation. Afterwards, I wrote a personal letter to President Reagan about our trip, which he was aware of us Eagle Forum ladies and gents being there. Much to my delight, he wrote back and now I have a wonderful framed keepsake with a personally signed letter.
Eagle Forum has become my life. It started in Michigan and continues in California where I now live. I belong to the Eagle Forum of CA/Long Beach Chapter and am Vice President. Jeanne Goodin, our Chapter President and Orlean Koehle our CA State President, Bonnie O’Neil and many others have become my friends.
There were a few times that I thought I’d retire from our group, but not only did I see that it was important to continue working on things that affect our families and our country, I had to continue. Besides, I couldn’t quit as long as Phyllis, who is 9 ½ years older than me, keeps on going. She has more energy than 10 people put together. Phyllis has been my hero all these years. She’s kept us all going all this time. Our annual Council meetings brought us speakers that were legislators, famous people like Rush Limbaugh and prominent people like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
These years have been very fulfilling. Phyllis also is a woman of great compassion. When William Hetherington was wrongfully accused and jailed, she kept in contact with him and did what she could to help him. Since he was in a Michigan jail, the MI Eagles did what we could to help.
Good Housekeeping magazine made a survey for several years of the top ten most admired women. Phyllis was always in that top ten which included Mother Theresa. Phyllis is a remarkable woman, a wonderful exemplary model, a friend, and leader. It’s been my pleasure and honor to know her all these years. As long as Phyllis Schlafly continues the work of our country, I will too. May God keep smiling on Phyllis and continue blessing her and her wonderful family.