The Norman Transcript

Features

March 31, 2013

World War II Army nurse continues the fight

NORMAN — When Mabel Ruth “Mike” Stephanic rolls down the halls of the Norman Veterans Center in her wheelchair that’s decked out in her favorite collegiate color, she greets everyone who crosses her path with a warm smile and a hearty Oklahoma hello.

Stephanic doesn’t care much that she’s an Oklahoma State fan living in Sooner country. After all, she says, she taught at OSU for 27 years and that should give her the right to be proud of her Cowboys. She does admit, however, that her nursing degree is from the University of Oklahoma.

But there’s more to Stephanic than her kind eyes and her lovable nature. A World War II Army nurse, Stephanic blazed a trail when she enlisted all those many years ago.

The older of two children, Stephanic was born in Topeka, Kan, but grew up in Ponca City.

“My dad was a quintessential Virginia gentleman. But he was strange in one way that he thought a girl should be able to take care of herself,” Stephanic said. “I learned to box. I played tackle football. I was the only girl in a neighborhood of all boys so while my name is Mabel Ruth, I was named for my mother’s sister and a cousin, the boys decided that was too much of a mouthful so I was christened Mike. And I’ve been Mike ever since. I’ve been Mike since I was about 3 or 4 years old. Mother never did call me Mike but practically everybody else did.”

Growing up in a household where gender lines were not drawn is one of the reasons that Stephanic thinks motivated her to enlist in the Army.

“I remember hearing the reports on the seventh of December (1941) and I was starting my senior year. I knew right then, I was going to have to be there,”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Pancake breakfast set

    The Police Explorer youth organization will host an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Norman Masonic Lodge, 1700 N. Porter Ave. All-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, milk, orange juice and coffee costs $5. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Center will be more than a building

    Many volunteers who assist veterans and surviving spouses have driven more than an hour to be at the Goldsby Community Center by 7 a.m. each Thursday. The volunteer of the week is from Harrah and has made that drive for the last three ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senior organizations that appeal to conservatives

    Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any advocacy organizations for seniors other than AARP? I cut up my AARP card a few years back when they supported Obamacare and am now looking for another organization that better represents me....

    July 29, 2014

  • Seniors adjust to different sleep patterns

    According to the National Institutes of Health, older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, sleep patterns change with age; this is often evident in the nursing home population. Frequent causes of interrupted sleep ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Ceremony marks opening of community center

    A July 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the addition of another feature to the Chickasaw Nation Carter service campus in Ardmore....

    July 27, 2014

  • Chickasaw Cultural Center a terrific place to visit

    SULPHUR — The Chickasaw Cultural Center is a magnificent tribute to a proud people and their storied heritage. Located an easy hour’s drive south from Norman, it’s among the finest travel destinations in Oklahoma. Set on 109 scenic acres, ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisoner re-entry planning for offenders with mental illness

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental health issues, re-entry into society can be troublesome. That is the topic in the first of the 2014 Fall ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Exhibit takes families on food expedition

    If your palate enjoys culinary diversity or if you’re interested in introducing new flavors to your family, join the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in tasting international delights and create your own treat during Family ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Resident makes art in new home

    There’s an old saying about a picture being “worth a thousand words,” which took on a literal meaning recently....

    July 27, 2014