Mary Ann “MA” Grage, 87, passed away May 10, 2018 after a long and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer at St. Gabriel's Community, Bismarck, ND. Service for a celebration of life will be held Monday, May 21st at 10:30 AM at Charity Lutheran Church, 120 Aspen Ave, Bismarck, ND.
She was born January 21, 1931 in Montevideo, MN to Magna (Ingstad) & Gustav Carlson.  She was the youngest of five siblings.
She grew up in Aberdeen, SD, and graduated from Northern State College with a bachelor's degree in physical education and was crowned Gypsy Queen in 1952. She was married to Allan Grage in 1953. Together they raised 4 children.
She taught in several communities including Biloxi, MS, Aberdeen, SD, Benson, MN, & Murdock, MN.   She spent 25 years at Wahpeton NDSCS where she taught and started the women's volleyball program she coached for 19 years. She is considered a "legend" and "First Lady of Volleyball" by her peers and players. She grew that program from the ground up to 3 national tournaments and an overall winning record of 456-188-11.  She was committed to women's sports and worked tirelessly for equality in women's athletics during the Title IX era.
She was inducted into three Hall of Fames: One at Northern State College and two at NDSCS.
She was an avid athlete and was a pitcher in women's softball until the age of 77. She pitched her class A Corner Drug team to a state championship. Her only disappointment with sports was that she was born too early to participate in high school or college women's athletics. Instead she played with the boys in neighborhood street sports.
Mary Ann touched the lives of so many people. She was known as MA because of her caring nature and inspiration to all who knew her. If there was ever an empty bedroom in their home, she filled it with a college student.  She became a surrogate mother to all her students and players. Her life-long motto was "Treat Others as You Would Want to be Treated."
She is preceded in death by her parents, all her siblings, and husband, Allan Grage.
She leaves behind her four children: Kris Todd-Reisnour (George Reisnour), Bismarck; Kurt Grage (Nancy) Pittsford, NY; Karla Sayler (John), Bismarck; and Kevin Grage (Marette), Brandon, SD.  She is also survived by 11 grandkids, Becky Todd-Edmundson (Morgan), Michelle Todd, Stephanie Eslinger (Greg), Danielle, Brittany and Shannon Grage, Lauren and Rachael Sayler, Briana, Spencer and Brooklyn Grage.  She will be missed bynine great-grand kids: Asya, Ibrahim and Yusuf Jama, Abbigail and Weston Snyder, TJ Thompson, Easton, Grant and Heath Eslinger.
 

 



Bismarck Funeral Home    |    3723 Lockport St    |    Bismarck, ND 58503-5537    |    (701) 223-4055

Site designed and maintained by KK BOLD Copyright 2013 Bismarck Funeral Home

Bismarck Funeral Home
3723 Lockport St
Bismarck, ND 58503-5537
(701) 223-4055


Site designed and maintained by KK BOLD Copyright 2013 Bismarck Funeral Home

Bismarck Funeral Home
3723 Lockport St  |  Bismarck, ND 58503-5537
(701) 223-4055


Site designed and maintained by KK BOLD Copyright 2013 Bismarck Funeral Home