Elvis Express Radio News
October 10,  2017   -   Sandusky Register  /  Elvis Express Radio
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There are Elvis Presley fans who enjoy the music and his movies, and fans who have taken it a step further by collecting Elvis memorabilia.

Then there are fans like Roxan Depinet, 59, of Norwalk, who plans to make sure that she’s never far from the King, even after she dies.

August 16, 1977, was a bad day for Depinet. That’s the day that Presley, only 42-years-old, died at Graceland, his mansion in Memphis, Tennessee after abusing prescription

The Sandusky Register’s front page on the event from forty years ago this year will be featured on Monday’s historic front page on A2 in a series of historic front pages the
newspaper is reprinting this year.

There have been other shocking, sudden deaths of rock music stars, including John Lennon’s murder in New York City on Dec. 8, 1980, and Buddy Holly’s death in a plane crash in
1959, but Elvis’ death remains perhaps the biggest unpleasant surprise of all.

Depinet, a longtime employee at a Norwalk grocery store, says that when she dies, she intends to be cremated, and there are very specific instructions on the final resting place for
them, if family members want to respect her burning love for the King of Rock and Roll.

“My family has to spread my ashes on Graceland’s grounds,” said Depinet, referring to Presley’s estate that she has visited seven times. “Then they get to tour Graceland on me. I’
m paying for them to take the tour.”

When Elvis died on that fateful afternoon, news spread fast, including to the Norwalk grocery store where Depinet works.

“One of the carryout (workers) came in said he knew I was a big Elvis fan,” she said. “He told me he died, and I did not believe him.”

“I was just devastated. I couldn’t believe it. Every newspaper that came out that had something about it, I picked up,” she added.

Depinet’s former sister-in-law and friend Kitty Sutherland, 71, of New London, was at home with two young children back in 1977 when she got the news.

“When it came across the television, I was in shock. I didn’t want to believe it,” she said.

Afterward, she would wear black to work on the anniversary of his death, putting up with the teasing she got from co-workers.

The two Elvis fans have adopted modern technology to listen to the former hitmaker’s songs. When Sutherland is in her car, she listens to the Elvis channel on Sirius radio.

“That was the only reason I got Sirius radio for my car,” she said. Her husband, former Huron County sheriff Dick Sutherland, enjoys Presley’s music.

Depinet listens to Elvis’ music using an iPod. When she has a birthday or Christmas has arrived, friends and relatives tend to shop for Elvis items. Her ankle is decorated with an
Elvis tattoo.

Many people who aren’t as devoted to Elvis tend to remember where they were when he died.

Gary Cross, an Arizona resident, is a Sandusky native who graduated from St. Marys Central Catholic High School in 1985.

“I was five days from turning ten years old the day Elvis died and standing with my Dad in a motel lobby while he checked in after a day of driving to a family vacation,” Cross wrote in
an email to the Register. “I remember, like yesterday, a news anchor talking about Elvis from the fuzzy screen television behind the counter as Dad, the motel worker, and I stared at
the TV.

“I knew then that Dad was a fan because I would play his Elvis eight tracks whenever I could,” Cross continued. “I liked his music at that age and felt like I knew Elvis. I may have
even tried some of my first dance moves listening to Elvis. Dad and the motel worker reacted as if it was inevitable with no strong feelings one way or another.

“But for me, it was the first time someone died that I knew only through their work. So I felt shocked and sad,” Cross said.

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