After 57 years, Chubby Checker’s interracial marriage to beauty queen Catharina Lodders is still going strong.
Chubby Checker, an American rock & roll singer and dancer, has been engaging us with his unique ability for over 80 years.
He is perhaps most known for popularizing dancing forms such as the Twist and the Pony, but he is also recognized for hit tunes such as “Let’s Twist Again.”
Checker, who was born in 1941 in South Carolina and lived in the projects of South Philadelphia, quickly recognized that one of his greatest strengths was his ability to imitate people. By high school, he was performing impersonations of Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis for his peers.
Checker joined Cameo-Parkway Records in 1959, and music executives encouraged him to record his rendition of Hank Ballard’s “The Twist.”
The song became an immediate smash once Checker published his version with an accompanying dance routine. “The Twist” was a groundbreaking dance style because it allowed couples to separate on the dance floor.
Since then, he has had 34 successes and got the first Grammy for a rock-and-roll tune.
He has also been happily married to former beauty queen Catharina Lodders for 57 years, despite numerous challenges.
The pair married in 1964, the same year that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. The legislation meant that African-Americans’ voting rights were restored, and segregation in the army, school, and fundamental public services was abolished, but interracial marriage laws persisted.
This prohibition was not lifted until three years after they married.
In 2015, he expressed that he didn’t care when individuals found out he was marrying a white lady. Love has no color to it.
Despite this enormous challenge, the pair married at Temple Lutheran Church in Pennsauken, New Jersey. When the couple married, they were 22 years old. Rev. George L. Garver performed their wedding ceremony, making no mention of their interracial marriage.
Jet Magazine interviewed Checker and his wife a few months after they married to see how married life was handling them, and they were the image of contentment.
Checker stated that he liked his marriage and that it will flourish with Lodders regardless of the circumstances.
Checker also stated that his wife was aware of America’s race issues but ignored them. He claimed they got along well and had a good time together since they shared a similar view on life.
Checkers met Lodders in Manila in January 1962 and proposed to her one month later at his parents’ house in December 1963, exactly one month after her reign as Miss World ended.
In 1962, the Dutch model made history when she won the Miss World Beauty Pageant in London at the age of 20 – the same year she also won Miss Holland.
Checker and Lodders suffered discrimination when they sought to buy a new home in Philadelphia during the early months of their marriage, but they were undeterred and acquired a house outside of Philadelphia in 1965, where they still live today.
Their love and understanding have sustained their marriage for 57 years and resulted in three beautiful kids: Bianca Johanna Evans, WNBA star Mistie Bass, and artist Shan Egan. They have seven grandkids as well.
According to the Herald-Tribune, Checker and Lodders paid a visit to their old pastor, Garver, who conducted their wedding on his 100th birthday.
This lovely pair demonstrates that love triumphs above all.