Bonnie L. Stephan

Bonnie L. Stephan, 82, of Huntington, IN, died Monday, April 28, 2014, at 3:08 p.m. at Parkview Huntington Hospital.

Mrs. Stephan graduated from Huntington High School in 1950. She earned a bachelor's degree in music from Indiana University and a Master of Music from Ball State University.

She taught music for 25 years at Huntington College, where she helped develop the opera department, before retiring in 2000. She also taught music at Ball State University. She served as organist and choir director at many churches in Indiana and played many organ concerts in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.

After winning the American Guild of Organists competition for Indiana and the four-state regional competition, she was one of 12 organists in the United States to play in the national competition in New York City. She also sang leading roles in numerous operas and musicals. She was chosen by composer Robert Ward to sing the lead role in the Midwest premiere of "The Crucible."

Mrs. Stephan was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, a national honorary music society, as well as the American Guild of Organists, National Association of the Teachers of Singing, MacDowell Music Club and Sigma Eta Fine Arts Society. She was a member of Unity Church, Fort Wayne, where she served as organist, pianist, soloist and music director.

She was born Dec. 8, 1931, in Huntington to Earl and Edna Baxter Swearer. She married Robert R. Stephan on Oct. 12, 1957, in Huntington. He preceded her in death on Nov. 24, 2004.

Calling is Thursday, May 1, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., with a service following at 3 p.m., at Deal-Rice Funeral Home, Huntington Chapel. Burial will be at a later date at Pilgrims Rest Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to Unity Church, Huntington County Humane Society or Parkview Huntington Hospice in care of Deal-Rice Funeral Home, 338 E. Washington St., Huntington, IN 46750.

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