Mary Jane Sanstead


Mary Jane (Bober) Sanstead, Bismarck, passed away May 13, 2024 at the age of 87.  She was surrounded by her loving family at the Baptist Health Care Center.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 11:00 AM at Trinity Lutheran Church with Pastor Mark Narum officiating.  Family will be receiving guests one hour prior to the service at the church.  Interment will follow at 2:00 PM at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan. To view the livestream, please click the link, https://trinitybismarck.com/funeral-livestream/

Mary Jane was born on November 2, 1936 in Minot, ND to Joseph and Mabel Bober.  Her mother died when she was young, and she and her sister, JoAnn, were raised by their grandmother and aunt in the Minot area.  She graduated with honors in 1955 from Minot High School.

On June 16, 1957, she married Wayne Sanstead, and they celebrated almost 67 years together.  They raised two sons, Tim and Jon, together.  Mary Jane supported Wayne throughout his career as a teacher and politician, while being an active community member wherever life took them.  Among many commitments, she served as Alderman to the Minot City Council, President of Minot Jaycettes, a Lifetime Member in PTA, and a proud member of the PEO sisterhood.

Of her many career accolades, Mary Jane was most proud of opening and managing the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Store in Bismarck.  Mary Jane continued to support DBGR and their mission throughout her life.

Mary Jane was an avid Bridge player, a fierce tennis player, a passionate reader and had a competitive political spirit.  She enjoyed her morning cup of coffee with Wayne and their cat after a game of tennis.

Mary Jane was the heart of the Sanstead family.  She raised two energetic sons who kept her on her toes.  She was a compass for Wayne and was the heart and soul of his political campaigns.  She was a devoted mother, a loving grandmother and a true friend to all she met.

She is survived by her husband, Wayne; her sons, Tim (Jane) Sanstead of Sioux Falls, SD and Jon (Cherie) Sanstead of Bismarck; her sister, JoAnn Welk of Oregon; a niece and nephew; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by her mom and dad, Mabel and Joseph Bober, her Grandma Agnes Peterson, her brother-in-law Mike Welk, and her in-laws, Clara and Godfrey Sanstead..

The family requests any memorials be made to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.



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Tim & Jon, my thoughts & prayers are with you both. I remember your mom from hockey days in Minot. She was a wonderful lady. Hold your memories close & may they bring you peace & comfort in the days ahead. God Bless your family. .

Mary Jane was a dear friend for nearly 60 years. Whenever I’d see her she gave me a big hug. She had a keen political instinct that Wayne relied on in his political career. Mary Jane and Wayne were true partners. When she was at the Baptist home the past five years Wayne was at her side daily. Mary Jane will be deeply missed by those who were fortunate to know her. Jayne and I express our sincere sympathy to Wayne and their sons Tim and Jon and their families.

Wayne, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your beloved wife. My Deepest sympathies. Penny Wedin

Wayne, my sincere condolences on the passing of your dear Mary Jane. May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ comfort you and your family.