Local Women: Stephanie Van Koevering

Stephanie Van Koevering is a mother of two and a pianist. She’s been playing the piano for as long as she can remember. Stephanie is a ca…

Stephanie Van Koevering is a mother of two and a pianist. She’s been playing the piano for as long as she can remember. Stephanie is a cancer survivor and the author of a new book about her father’s childhood adventures. She has used her book to connect with her son who was having a hard time during her cancer treatments.
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I work for the MSU K-12 Outreach program; meaning I translate research for schools to use in their classrooms. I make presentations and brochures to link the research that is done on schooling to the schools themselves and vice versa.
Q: Why did you write Victory on the Home Front?
A: I was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, which was hard on my family, especially my son Alex, who took it pretty hard. I started treatment soon after and was unable to work and after a while, decided I needed a project.
I needed to find a way to connect with my sons, and I found it through stories about my father’s childhood during World War II. The stories ranged from fights with his three brothers to a visit from the FBI. Every day I would write one of the stories and give it to Alex. It not only helped him, but helped me cope with the stresses of the treatment. I ended up creating a book for young boys titled Victory on the Home Front, dedicated to Alex.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from your book?
A: I’m hoping that they will have more of a connection with the past. It was a significantly different time with the war going on and all the rationing. People today don’t know how to fix things, but back then it was what you had to do. After reading it, Alex became more interested in how things work. He made himself a little workbench in the basement and if I were to give him an old phone, he’ll take it apart there.

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