Mary Ann Rager

July 15, 1928 - March 2, 2023

Visitation: Family will greet visitors one hour prior to the service.

Service: Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at Canton United Methodist Church.

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Mary Ann Rager, age 94, died Thursday, March 2, 2023 at Dow-Rummel Village in Sioux Falls, SD.  Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at Canton United Methodist Church.  Family will greet visitors one hour prior to the service.  Memorials may be directed to the Canton United Methodist Church.

          Mary Ann Damm was born on July 15, 1928 to Karl and Johanna (Jensen) Damm in Centerville, SD.  After an early childhood in Centerville, her family moved to Yankton, SD where she graduated from Yankton High School in 1946.  After graduating, she went on to obtain her teaching certificate from Springfield College and taught country school for three years.

          She was united in marriage to Wayne Rager on July 31, 1949 in Yankton, SD and served as a pastor’s wife in many churches in South Dakota.  David Merritt, Daniel Todd, and Thomas Brooks were born to this union.

          Mary Ann’s passions were art and poetry, thrilling family and friends with her creative writing abilities and pencil portraits.  She also loved cooking, baking, music, cleaning, and drinking black coffee.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Rev. Wayne Rager on June 7, 2013; son, David on December 28, 2012; and sisters, Ann Knutson and Joyce Suga.

Mary Ann is survived by two sons, Daniel (Linda) Rager of Sioux Falls and Tom (Deb Simunek) of Luverne, MN; 5 grandchildren, Amy Shipman, Ryan Rager, Karly Rager, April (Brad) Cowell, and Adam (Holli) Rager; 7 great-grandchildren, along with numerous extended relatives and friends.


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  1. Pamela Joan Gromek on March 3, 2023 said:

    Tom and Dan,
    You were so fortunate to have your mom for so long and she had a very blessed life. I will always remember our so dak trips every year as children to she is back with her family,happy and healthy. I will be praying for you all on Tuesday. Wish I could have been with you. Love you cousins.

  2. Gregory M. Knutsen on March 4, 2023 said:

    Will always have fond memories of Aunt MaryAnn, she was indeed a kind loving individual who was thoughtful and caring. Kind of a small thing but I remember as a young boy visiting and Aunt MaryAnn during our South Dakota visits making fried eggs for breakfast that were the best eggs ever, (funny what comes to mind when reflecting).
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and will be thinking of you all during this time of your mothers passing.

  3. Harold & Connie Fiferlick Sioux Falls SD on March 4, 2023 said:

    The Rager Family so sorry to read of the loss of you mother Mary Ann. Your parents were special in so many ways as to the days of the Ellis and Sunnycrest church. They will be remembered in our hearts forever. May your mother rest in peace since joining her son and husband. in heaven. May God be with you all during this difficult time. You have our Deepest Sympathy.

  4. Laurie Wiebe on March 6, 2023 said:

    Mary Ann was such a sweet lady. Always brought me joy to see her. I was just thinking about her the other day wondering about her. My sympathies to your family. Laurie Wiebe

  5. Sharon R Skaien on March 6, 2023 said:

    Sorry for your loss, May you find peace strength & loving memories to fill your hearts!

  6. LeAnn Anderson on March 6, 2023 said:

    Tom and family. I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I remember her from being on my meals on wheels route. She always had a story to tell. She also spoke at my reading circle. Delightful and talent lady.

  7. Diana Carlson on March 6, 2023 said:

    Dear Dan and Tom; I so wish we could be with you tomorrow. Know you both will be in our thoughts and prayers. Our love to all. Love Diana and Scott Carlson ❤️

  8. Gail Bauer on March 7, 2023 said:

    I won’t be able to attend your mom’s funeral but I hope you are feeling the love of your friends from class of ’73. I will remember your mom’s smile and the love and compassion she and your dad showed my Aunt Betty Ann. Never easy to lose someone but moms even more so. May your good memories of her always be with you. Take care.

  9. Les Suga on March 7, 2023 said:

    We all have those moments in our lives, and those people in our lives, whose presence makes the world perfect. When they are around nothing but love surrounds us. We might hear words from others that, in other times, are painful, but when they are around, the sting is removed, the hurt is not there, just their love that shields us from all. That was the way it was with my Aunt Mary. From the earliest moments that I can remember, I have always felt that in her presence. As a child, travel being what it was, in a dusty car without air conditioning, along roads not yet converted to interstates, visits together seemed spaced into an eternity, making the joy of being together all the more. Although she accomplished many things in her long life, I will always remember her as being the true essence of love, the joy of her soul forever etched in my heart, until that time when we can explore forever together.

  10. Michele (Stearns) Olsen on March 8, 2023 said:

    I have fond memories of your whole family when your Dad served Canton UMC. I have sent a memorial gift to the church.

  11. Dave Stengel on April 9, 2023 said:

    My sincere condolences to you and your family.
    Dave Stengel

  12. Sandy Delvo Johnson on April 13, 2023 said:

    I remember your mom as a beacon of kindness. Together your parents left a footprint of love on their community. Rest in peace Mary Ann ❤️