Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Local News

September 25, 2013

Author's book offers light lessons in life

Former Purdue University professor Mary Ellen Stepanich has written her first book, D is for Dysfunctional and Doo Wop.

In the memoir that came out in late June, Stepanich discusses her life and the mistakes both she and people around her have made. She also shares the fun that came with those mistakes and the joy she has for singing doo wop songs with her quartet who are featured on the front cover of the book.

Born in the 1940s in a small town in Gibson County, Stepanich said her parents suffered the Great Depression, where the economy was awful and the philosophy on prosperity was no good. After World War II there was more money, more work; things were looking up.

“The people growing up in that decade became undecided people because of the two philosophies that were going on,” she said. “This decade attributed to my personality and how I grew up and made my mistakes.”

Stepanich said children growing up in the 1940s were to be seen and not heard in school. She explains this with an example in her book of when she was a student pursuing her doctorate at Purdue.

“I never talked in class because my voice was suppressed by teachers and family when I was growing up,” she said. “In order to get an A in the class I had to speak up, and I finally did.”

Hopefully, she said, readers will get life lessons from her book. It includes lessons she learned from her childhood, potential and actual careers, four marriages, divorce, how to be a widow, and living alone and liking it.

After graduating from Indiana State University, she left for Chicago to start a career. Her dream was to become a professional singer.

“I love music,” she said. “Music saved me from being a nobody; I’ve had music in my life since the first grade.”

While in Chicago she was asked to be in the Harvest Moon Festival, a singing competition, and she was a finalist. Soon after, she was asked to join an orchestra.

Stepanich said her mother was firmly against her pursuing a singing career.

“I was afraid to take a chance,” she said. “That was the turning point in my life. I could have been a singer, but if I hadn’t turned it down, I would not have become a professor at Purdue and have so many opportunities in academia.”

She was offered a position at Purdue after she received her doctorate and by that time she had gone through three divorces. She then met her fourth husband and gave up her career to follow him to Arizona. She was offered a position at Western International University, became a dean, and then an associate dean. She taught strategic management until retirement.

After her husband died, Stepanich became a volunteer reader for Sun Sounds in Arizona, a radio station for the blind and disabled. She read books and magazines that were broadcast live to listeners and spoke to groups around the area about the services that the company provides. She then met the chairman of a local group of writers, and he invited her to join their group.

“I had written some small, funny stories about the things that have happened in my life, but I’d never published anything before,” she said. “Everyone that read my stories encouraged me to publish.”

She went to the South West Writer Conference and started restructuring her book. She decided to self-publish the book with Abbott Press, a publishing company in Bloomington.

“I felt confident going with them because they felt close to home,” she said. “I was very happy with their design, and it more than satisfied my expectations.”

She then hired a publicist and did book presentation in Arizona, where she read funny stories from her book and her quartet sang a song about the situation in the book.

“We sang parodies of ‘Why do fools fall in love’ and ‘I’ll be seeing you’ about my second husband,” she said.

Stepanich said she had a good turnout at the first presentation and has two more scheduled within the next few weeks.

“I don’t expect to get famous,” she said. “I don’t know if the book will do well in sales, but people have been saying it is real and funny. Things in my life are funny, so we shall see.”

She says her life lessons are not like punches in the face, but rather lessons learned by observing someone else’s life.

“I had this opportunity, people encouraged me, I just wanted to entertain the reader, but I’m also teaching people about life now,” she said.

For more information about Stepanich’s book, visit the website at http://www.amazon.com/Is-Dysfunctional-And-Doo-Wop-Hoosier/dp/1458209873.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Chamber to host forum on Affordable Care Act The Westside Chamber of Commerce will host a forum on the effects of the new Affordable Care Act on small and medium-sized businesses and what can be expected. The forum is set for 8:30 a.m. April 25 at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, 2930 W

    April 16, 2014

  • Parks let mushroom hunters forage off-trail Rain that pounded Brown County State Park in early April dampened the number of hikers and mountain bikers in Indiana's largest state park, but foragers of the property's 15,000 acres of forest welcomed the weather. With the arrival of spring, they'v

    April 16, 2014

  • HCF 4-16 news bburg cleanup 1 Spring cleaning BROWNSBURG -- Spring has sprung and the Town of Brownsburg offered three events last weekend to help residents with their spring cleaning. Matt Wright of Tech Recyclers was on site at the Brownsburg Fleet Maintenance Facility during the Technology R

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger A couple of disclaimers before wading into the inflammatory topic of gender equity: I support realistic equality: Equal opportunity and equal pay for equal work with all other things -- experience, skill, training and performance -- being relatively

    April 16, 2014

  • No Headline Provided Will you be voting in the upcoming primary election? Yes No Undecided Vote online at www.flyergroup.com

    April 16, 2014

  • Verizon offers tips to stop distracted driving April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Verizon Wireless suggests some simple tips for consumers to put into practice. Nearly 57 percent of U.S. drivers admit to texting while driving. To help resist the temptation to text or talk on the phon

    April 16, 2014

  • HCF 4-16 biz hawk award pix American Family honors local agent American Family Insurance of Madison, Wis., District 558, recently named Doug Hawk as the 2013 Agent of the Year. Hawk was honored at the District 558 annual awards ceremony. He consequently earned this award the past two years by excelling in sales

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pass the pizza, please At any given time, one in eight Americans is eating pizza. I love that statistic. So do the pizza restaurants. Ah, pizza. Lunch, dinner or cold for breakfast, it may be the perfect food. You'll notice I say "may be." That's important. Even something

    April 16, 2014

  • Perich April 12, 2014 Norma Mae Koesters Perich of Avon died April 12. She was 91. No services are planned.

    April 16, 2014

  • Street sweeping set for Avon The Town of Avon is preparing to conduct street sweeping operations in all subdivisions and on local roads from April 14 to May 12, weather permitting. Advance Sweeping is the contractor performing the work. During this time, town administrators ask

    April 16, 2014

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

New poll question: Will you be attending this year’s Indianapolis 500?

Yes
No
Undecded
     View Results
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read