Mrs. Nebraska 1955 – Mrs. America 1956
Ramona Deitemeyer – Lincoln, NEI
n early 1955, Ramona’s husband, Carl, and her son, Steve, entered her in the local Mrs. Nebraska competition. The format at that time consisted of bringing a cake to the contest and participating in an interview. The first competition was held in Lincoln, NE at the Gas Company. Following that competition, the district contest was held at KOLN-TV also in Lincoln. Contestants from Lancaster and Saunders counties were allowed to enter. The areas of competition included cooking, sewing, ironing, and interviewing.
Stoves and the appropriate equipment were set up for the first area of competition where each contestant would bake a Mrs. Nebraska chocolate cake. The stove on Ramona’s set was not calibrated correctly, so her cake failed! The next area of competition was to stitch an apron on the provided sewing machines, and ironing boards were set up to iron men’s shirts and grocers jackets. Interviews followed those competition segments. Ramona won that competition making her eligible for the State competition.
The state competition was held in McCook, Nebraska. Twelve contestants participated in the event. Each contestant was set up with a small kitchen, complete with a table and 4 chairs. Contestants had to prepare a complete meal within an hour and a half, and serve the meal to their husbands and two guests. Other areas of competition were to sew another apron, and do more ironing. The interview segment was held to determine the family values, and contributions, each contestant had made to her church and community. That evening Ramona was crowned Mrs. Nebraska 1955.
The Mrs. America competition was held in Daytona Beach, Florida that year. Each of the 50 contestants competed by living in a small villa on Mrs. America Avenue. The contestants participated in several activities throughout the week at Mrs. America. Areas of competition at Mrs. America included how well each contestant kept their villa, the preparation of a meal, ironing, sewing another apron, and more interviewing. Ramona won the overall award for “Best Kept Villa” and “Best Meal”. Concluding the week was the presentation ceremony of Mrs. America 1956, which was held on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Ramona was crowned “Mrs. America 1956”. In her own words she says, “being crowned Mrs. America was both an honor and humbling, but quite an exciting and inspirational achievement”.