OKLAHOMA CITY – This has been a sad week for all of us who loved and admired Phyllis Schlafly. My sympathy to the family and to her Eagles all across America. Our Chief Eagle had hope in the Lord, and now has her strength renewed and is soaring on wings like eagles.
Her footprint on America will forever be remembered.
She trained her eaglets to run and not grow weary, to walk and not faint. And, so in her honor – for the conservative issues for which she so valiantly and tirelessly fought – we shall carry on.
All of us must continue to defend the unborn, the traditional family, academic excellence for our children in school, the sovereignty of our nation (borders), and our U.S. Constitution. Eagles are needed today to make a difference in our culture and to preserve our freedom and our values.
I have stepped down as President of Oklahoma Eagle Forum. Sandy Hodges was confirmed by the OKEF Board and became the State Leader (President) in February, 2016. Sandy lives in Coweta and is the Wagoner County Assessor. She received from Phyllis the Eagle Award back in the ERA days when she helped defeat the ERA in Oklahoma.
She and I will attend Eagle Council XLV in St. Louis this month.
Thank you for joining me and others in the battle these last 40 years. We had some victories and some defeats. But, we shall never stop trying to make a difference for the values and freedom granted to us by God.
Phyllis was truly the mother of the conservative movement which began when she wrote the book, “A Choice, Not an Echo.” I first heard of Phyllis in 1974 when I learned about the unnecessary, unwanted, uncertain Equal Rights Amendment. From that time on, Phyllis has been my mentor. She was our fearless leader. We shall miss her very much.
Below is a letter I wrote when Phyllis was receiving the Paul Weyrich Award in Washington D.C. Cleta Deathrage Mitchell [a former Oklahoma state legislator] called and asked if I would write something she could read at the Award Ceremony.
The letter follows:
February 23, 2015
I am so happy that my mentor, the one and only Phyllis Schlafly, is being honored as the recipient of the Paul Weyrich Award on Wednesday, February 25th.
She is my heroine and example. I am in awe of her accomplishments and her energy as she continues to lead the conservative movement. I know of no other person who has influenced the lives of so many people and been the guardian of the unborn, the homemaker and liberty for all.
I first learned about Phyllis and Eagle Forum in 1974 when I joined the all volunteer STOP ERA movement that was spreading across America.
I listened to cassette tapes of her speaking on the reasons the ERA needed to be defeated, and as I was driving across our state to meetings to inform women about this unnecessary, unwanted, and undefined amendment that the feminists and socialists wanted to add to the U.S. Constitution, I would try to emulate her in every way. She has always been very encouraging to me and to all the women who look to her for leadership and guidance on political issues. Her analysis is always right!
I stay amazed at all she does — writing her Phyllis Schlafly Reports, hosting a weekly radio program, speaking at events across the U.S., writing some 20 books and just last year updating “A Choice Not an Echo.”
America will continue to be influenced by her analysis of the issues, and I will always admire her for being the spokesman for all conservative causes, especially for the unborn, the traditional family and the preservation of the U.S. Constitution.
Thank you, Phyllis. It’s because of you that I became involved in politics and have tried to make a difference in our culture through the political process. My involvement with you and Eagle Forum led me to work to elect many conservative candidates and to seek several positions in the Republican Party, culminating in me being elected to serve as National Committeewoman for Oklahoma (1996-2008).
I became the State Leader for Eagle Forum of Oklahoma in 1999 because she called me and said she needed me — and no one tells Phyllis, “No.” I have truly enjoyed being associated with Phyllis and Eagle Forum. I can’t begin to think what my life would have been like if Eagle Forum was not a part of it.
Phyllis is, indeed, “The Mother of the Conservative Movement.” Ladies’ Home Journal got it right when they named her as one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century. Truly, she is the most important woman in America in the last 150 years.
I’m proud and honored to know you and call you my friend.
May God bless you today and always.
Editor’s note: Bunny Chambers is immediate past president for Eagle Forum of Oklahoma. This memorandum and her attached tribute, delivered when Schlafly won the Paul Weyrich Award in the nation’s capital, circulated to conservatives throughout the state soon after Schlafly’s death.