Stella Mordo’s love of crosswords was developed at a very young age. As a little girl, Stella and her mom would enjoy spending quality time together completing all sorts of puzzles, including crosswords. They would sit at the breakfast table in their beautiful home in Lilly Chapel, Ohio every morning before school solving the crossword puzzles in their local newspaper. Stella remembers many times while out shopping with her mother when they would browse the bookstore shelves in search of a new crossword puzzle book. This quality time she spent with her mother quickly developed into a deep love of the game, a love that has followed her throughout her life.
When Stella turned 18 years old, she was accepted into the prestigious Harvard College. Between parties, spending time with friends - and of course studying - she could often be found hard at work solving a crossword puzzle in her dorm room or in the campus’ courtyard area. She admits that her friends sometimes teased her for spending so much time working these complicated puzzles, but that never stopped her from picking up a puzzle book every day to complete one.
After graduating college in the top of her class, she moved to California and began working in a large law firm where she met her soulmate, Tom Mordo. One day, when Tom stopped by her house on a surprise visit for her birthday, he walked into her living room to find her deep in concentration while looking at a book. She was in such a state of concentration, she didn’t even hear him come in, or notice him approach her. It wasn’t until he softly said “What are you thinking about, dear?” that she had noticed his presence. After the initial shock and excitement of seeing him, she explained to him that she was trying to solve a crossword puzzle, and this particular puzzle had her stumped. She remembers him smiling softly at her, lifting her from her seat then setting her back down in his lap, and confessing that he, too, is a crossword puzzle fanatic. They spent the rest of her birthday that year solving the rest of the crossword puzzles in that book.
A few years later, Stella and Tom were married. On their first anniversary, Stella found out she was pregnant with their first child. They both agreed that Stella should quit working so that she could stay home and take care of their children. It was heartbreaking for her to quit her job, but she knew that she would regret missing out on all of the wonderful experiences that come with raising a family if she continued working as a lawyer. On her last day of work at her law firm, the firm threw her a huge party, one that was a combination of a “Going Away” party with a Baby Shower party. She smiles now as she remembers the many trips she had to make home that day in order to bring home the many dozens of diapers, baby clothes, and other baby essentials that her friends at work bought for her.
As motherhood often does, Stella became so busy with taking care of her family that she often did not have time to sit down and work on solving a crossword puzzle. However, 10 years and three children later, the call to pick up a puzzle book spoke to her, and she answered. When her youngest son saw her working on a crossword puzzle at her kitchen table one morning, he walked over and sat down next to her. Once he realized what she was doing, the two sat together and solved the crossword puzzle together. This quickly developed into a nightly tradition for her and her son.
As the children grew older and moved out of the house to start a life of their own, Stella found a lot more free time and quickly realized that she needed something more to do to spend her day. As she was discussing this with Tom one night, he suggested that she combine her love of crosswords with her passion for reading and writing - and so, Mordo Crosswords was developed.