Rita Sue (Menninger) Dreifuss (24 episodes, 2003-2005) - was born in Kansas City, MI, in 1895. Her father, Thomas, a prosperous merchant, and mother, Emma, doted on their only child, educating her at the finest Eastern boarding schools. Thomas's premature death in 1903, however, had a catastrophic effect on the family's financial fortunes, forcing Emma to seek employment as a domestic worker.
Rita Sue left home in 1908, gravitating to vaudeville and, eventually, the Red Rutherford Traveling Crazy Horse Revue, traveling the eastern seaboard and sharing the stage with strip-show luminaries such as Bonnie Fellows and Katie McCook, and meeting her future husband, Felix (Stumpy) Dreifuss. When they were married in Atlantic City in 1914, Rita Sue was already seven months pregnant with their first child, Libby. Her birth was soon followed by that of their second daughter, Dora Mae, in 1916.