Mary Ann Siverson

November 15, 1940 - April 5, 2019

Service: A private graveside memorial will be held on Wednesday, July 22, at Forest Hill Cemetery

        Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die: and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

          Mary Ann Siverson (Oliphant), 78 years, of Canton, South Dakota, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 5, 2019, in Bosque Farms, New Mexico, after a twelve-year battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

          Mary Ann was born the second of two children to Norman Sterling and Cecelia Anna Bertha Oliphant (Fernow) on November 15, 1940, in Enderlin, North Dakota. In 1961, she graduated from Moorhead State University where she earned a double major in music and art education. She met Glenn Keith Siverson in the MSU Marching Band and they married on June 9, 1961. After graduation, they taught school in Phillip, South Dakota from 1961 to 1965. In 1965 they moved to Canton where they worked for the school system; Glenn as the band director until his unexpected passing in 1991, and Mary Ann as the elementary music teacher for almost 40 years.

          Mr. and Mrs. Siverson were fixtures of Canton as music teachers to thousands of children. Mrs. Siverson’s joyful spirit may be most remembered for her yearly portrayal of her wicked twin sister, a witch (complete with red satin cape, tall black hat, and witchy cackle) who would visit Mrs. Siverson’s elementary music classes each year during Halloween; or, for her teaching of one of her most favorite songs, “Senor Don Gato;” or, for her inspiring school musical performances.

          Mary Ann was a gifted artist, winning several local and state awards for her oil and watercolor paintings. She painted many pieces for her local church, Canton Lutheran, as well as portraits and other works for clients and friends. Besides painting and drawing, she loved to sing, play Scrabble, write poetry, cook, and host family and neighborhood gatherings. After receiving a terminal diagnosis in 2008, Mary Ann relocated to Bosque Farms, New Mexico, to live with her youngest daughter, Sayra, and her family.

          Mary Ann is survived by her three children: Glennis, of Los Angeles, California; Jason and his wife Sharon of Auburn, Washington; and, Sayra and her husband Marc Salter of Durango, Colorado, as well as her two grandchildren, Olivia and Sterling Salter. Sayra would like to humbly thank the amazing staff at Beehive Homes of Bosque Farms, New Mexico, who provided her care the last year and a half of her life and always kept her in the best of spirits.

      Due to limitations of the pandemic, a private graveside memorial will be held on Wednesday, July 22, at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family invites those of you who have had the pleasure of knowing Mary Ann to honor her by sharing a favorite memory at In lieu of flowers, please take a moment to reach out to your favorite music teacher and acknowledge the contribution they have made to your life.



14 condolences have been left

  1. Sayra, Jay and Glennis,
    I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. I very much enjoyed having both your parents as teachers. Deepest sympathy to you all.

  2. Glennis, Jay, and Sayra,
    I was so sorry to hear about your mom. She was a great person and I loved her as a teacher and also spending countless hours with your family. I always seem to remember her in the kitchen, either cooking or having coffee with a friend or two, playing the piano, and her beautiful paintings. I have so many fond memories at your house, playing barbies, planning halloween costumes, making arts and crafts of some kind, racing on the sidewalk, and Glennis and I exploring the church and courthouse. I was so lucky to have her for a teacher and so happy she was also my kids teacher. She and your Grandma Oliphant came out for Maddie’s graduation party and we had such a nice time and visit, so happy we got to spend that time with them!
    Love you all and will be thinking of you.

  3. Glennis and Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom was a favorite teacher of mine! I couldn’t wait to get to music class and see what she had in store for us each day! Mary Ann is the one that encouraged me to have the courage to sing in trios along side you Glennis and I believe Todd Messerli 🙂 From there on, I found the confidence to sing solos at many funerals and weddings throughout the years. Without that encouragement from her at a young age, I don’t know if music would have been such a big part of my life! I also have so many wonderful memories of sleepovers at your beautiful home! Your mom always had a fun art or baking project for us to work on…I remember making those dough dolls…such a fun day! Your mom lit up a room when entering with her beautiful personality and smile and I will always remember her! My prayers are with you and your family Glennis.

  4. My sympathies to you all, Glennis, Jason and Sayra. I have so many fond memories of Mrs. Siverson. Not just as a music teacher (she was the best) but also the nights spent at your home. We always had so much fun. As I won’t be able to reach out to all of my favorite music teachers, I will send their family special thoughts and prayers during this time. Hold onto your memories and your family. They truly are a treasure.

    Mr. & Mrs. Siverson, may be you rest in peace. You are so missed by many.

    • Thank you so much, Janel.
      Your memories are special to us and mom would be so honored.
      Best, Sayra

  5. Glennis, Jay, and Sayra,
    May the memories of your Mom and Dad continue to comfort, inspire, and bring a smile.
    I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to learn from such outstanding music educators and people.
    Take care and God Bless!
    Scott Fossum

    • Thank you, Scott. How wonderful to live on through memories and music.

  6. My sympathies to you! I have great memories of your mom when I accompanied some of her elementary choir programs during the early to mid 1970s. She was so creative and fun! Blessings to you all.

  7. We have wonderful memories of both Mart Ann and Glen. We enjoyed many spontaneous Bridge games together and shared lots of laughter.
    Two talented people. We were blessed to have them as friends. We are so thankful we also shared a faith with them and know because of God’s grace we will be with again. God bless your family. Gene and Carol Regier

    • Thank you so much, Carol and Gene. Mom and Dad cherished your faithful friendship and we are forever grateful for your family.
      Love, Sayra

  8. Sayra and family,
    May you be flourished with wonderful memories as you celebrate the life of your mother and grandmother. Much love to all of you all.
    Craig and Paula Jacobsen