Mary Cecelia (Moran) Tysdal, 104, died Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, Mitchell, SD with her family at her side. Funeral services will be 1:30 pm Saturday, May 3 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mitchell. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 pm Friday with a scripture service at 7:00 pm at the Bittner Funeral Chapel.
She was born November 7, 1909, the 10th of 11 children to Matthew and Mary Jane Moran in Woonsocket, SD. She attended school in Woonsocket and graduated from high school in 1928. She was highly involved in academic and extra-curricular activities. The Woonsocket High Life High School Newspaper stated she was active in basketball ,track, glee club, chorus, board of control member, staff of tek-cos-NOOW, staff of Highlife, four high school plays, orchestra, band, short hand contest, declamation and secretary of the class. Editorial comment was “A popular girl in classroom and hall; in vim and pep she surpasses them all”.
After working as a legal assistant for a prominent Woonsocket attorney for a year, she attended Notre Dame Academy in Mitchell where she pursued a family tradition in the teaching profession. She began her teaching career in a Sanborn county country school and subsequently joined her brother John in McLaughlin, SD where she taught Native American children.
During World War II (1944) she traveled to Washington D.C. to marry her long time sweetheart Lloyd Tysdal of Artesian, SD. She worked as a telephone operator and railroad ticket clerk while her husband was serving his country. They later returned to South Dakota to begin their married life in Mitchell. She then devoted her life to her family for the next two decades.
She then returned to school at Dakota Wesleyan University and Northern State College to renew her teaching certificate. She taught second grade at Holy Spirit Catholic School until her retirement many years later.
In retirement, she enjoyed traveling to see her children and grandchildren. She remained active in her community and church, expanding her social network to include friends of all ages. She often commented that her strong faith, positive attitude and resiliency contributed to her longevity. Even after the loss of her husband, she continued living independently driving, maintaining her own residence and living a full and productive life until her passing.
She was a joy to be around, always with a kind word for others, a smile on her face and a skip in her gait. She was proud of her Irish heritage and was an avid Twins fan. At age 103 she was honored as a special guest by the Twins organization and met her favorite player, Joe Mauer on the field in Minneapolis. She has been recognized by both the President and the Governor for achieving an exemplary life for all to emulate.
Those left to share her memory include her three children: James (Mary) Tysdal, Appleton, WI; Mary Jo (Tyz) Thurston, Rapid City, SD; William (Jan) Tysdal, Rapid City, SD. Grandchildren: Erikka, Sadie, Maia, Emily, Elli, Ramsey, Derrick and Elizabeth; Six Great Grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and many other special people. She was preceded in death by her husband Lloyd Tysdal and her son, Morris Tysdal.
The family is requesting a memorial to Holy Spirit School in lieu of flowers.