NORMAN — Heaven gained an angel of mercy and we lost a national treasure when Mabel Ruth “Mike” Stephanic passed from this life Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, at the age of 94.
A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Strode Funeral Home chapel in Stillwater.
Born to Roscoe and Lannie (Fisher) Wisler on March 15, 1919, in Marion, Kan., Mabel Ruth was nicknamed “Mike” when one of the neighborhood boys in Ponca City thought Mabel Ruth was “too much of a mouthful.” Upon graduation from high school, Ms. Stephanic joined the Women’s Army Corp and served as a surgical and triage nurse with the 107th Evacuation Hospital and was caught behind enemy lines at the Battle of the Bulge.
After a number of years teaching nursing, Ms. Stephanic spent 27 years as a chemistry professor at Oklahoma State University and enjoyed her life-long love of OSU sports, especially wrestling. She was a member of the American Legion for more than 60 years and was the ticket-taker at Stillwater American Legion baseball for more than a decade. Mike was also an active volunteer for Town and Gown Community Theatre for many seasons.
Ms. Stephanic was honored for her service by the Oklahoma Legislature in March and was proud to have had the barricades moved so she and other members of the honor flight could visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., a little more than a week before her passing. She resided at the Norman Veterans Center during her final years.
Mabel Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; son, Gary Stephanic; and brother, Bill Wisler.
She is survived by nieces Diane Keenom and Susan Chamberlin, and nephew, Roscoe Wisler, all of Stillwater. She had many great-nieces and nephews, including Angie Drumm, who was by her side until the end, as well as numerous great-great-nieces and nephews.
Donations in her honor may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.
Condolences may be sent to the family and an obituary viewed by visiting strodefh.com.
Norman Transcript, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013