- Hall-Wynne Funeral Service & Crematory - https://www.hallwynne.com -

Mary Dunn Siedow

Posted By Hall-Wynne On July 10, 2017 @ 9:12 am In Durham,Obituaries | 10 Comments

Mary Dunn Siedow died Friday, July 7, 2017 surrounded by her loving family in Durham, NC from cancer.

Mary was born to Daniel James and Cecilia Marie (Schilling) Dunn in Watertown, SD on March 21, 1942, and was baptized Mary Kathryn in Immaculate Conception Church in Watertown. She attended Immaculate Conception Elementary School and graduated from Watertown High School.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the College of Saint Teresa, Winona, MN and her Master of Science (1969) and Doctor of Education (1973) degrees in literacy education from Indiana University Bloomington, IN.

While in graduate school she met and married James N. Siedow in 1970. Their careers took them to Ann Arbor, Michigan and Houston, Texas before they settled permanently in Durham, NC in 1976.  Mary was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Durham since that time.

Mary’s satisfying career had two primary emphases, the first in K-12 literacy education and the second in adult literacy education. She was a teacher educator at the University of Houston and NC State University, where she focused on the teaching of reading in secondary school content areas.  She worked in school administration in MI and NC (and taught in secondary schools in MN and NC).  She switched emphasis to adult literacy education to become the first Executive Director of the Durham Literacy Center from 1987 to 1994, after which she was the Director of NC Literacy Resource Center, a service agency to literacy practitioners across the state of NC.  She held this position from 1994 until her retirement in 2002.

Mary was the author of a number of articles published in professional journals and made over 100 presentations at professional conferences. She co-authored monographs on secondary school reading and on adult literacy practices.  She served on a team that designed “Voyager”,  a basic literacy series for adult beginning readers and authored the student books in the series.  In addition, she made presentations at literacy conferences over the years.

In the final years of her working career, Mary was a member of a national team, Equipped for the Future, which focused the attention of adult literacy practitioners on a standards approach to literacy within the context of student participation in their own learning. She co-authored, “Teaching Adults to Read with Understanding,” a specific project within Equipped for the Future that focused specifically on the teaching of reading.

Mary served on several boards in Durham and elsewhere, including Durham Literacy Center, Friends of Duke Libraries, Durham Art Guild, the Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women.

Mary is survived by her husband of 46 years, James N. Siedow; two brothers, Michael (Donna) Dunn of Kellogg ID and Paul (Mary Beth) Dunn of Syracuse NY, and a sister Louise ( Dunn) Swanson, of Lubbock, TX, ten nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother in law, Ed Swanson.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered 11:00 a.m. Thursday, July 13, 2017 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with Father Chris VanHaight, OFM, presiding. Friends may visit with the family prior to mass from 10:00-11:00 in the daily chapel.

After mass a brief reception will be held in the church’s Gathering Space from 12:00-12:45. Burial will follow in St. Matthew Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Durham Literacy Center, 1905 Chapel Hill Rd., Durham, NC 27707;  Duke Cancer Institute, 20 Duke Medicine Circle, Durham, NC  27710; or Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 810 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham, NC  27701.

Arrangements for the Siedow family are under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service in Durham. On-line memorials:  www.hallwynne.com.  Select obituaries.

Condolences for the family of “Mary Dunn Siedow”

Condolence from Mark & Diana Stidham on July 10th, 2017 4:29 pm

Our deepest sympathies to her loved ones. Hers was a life well lived. Though our time with her was long ago and brief, Mary’s friendliness and encouraging outlook impressed us and stayed with us.

Condolence from Fr. Steve Patti on July 11th, 2017 7:57 am

I remember Mary well from my time at Immaculate Conception, how kind and supportive she was, especially when I was new there and just getting started. Condolences and prayers for her family.

Condolence from Ardith & Rich Vines on July 11th, 2017 12:36 pm

Our deepest sympathies to Jim and Mary’s family and friends. In the short time we knew her, we found her to be loving, kind, smart and funny. She will be missed.

Condolence from Jaimie & Bill Stroud on July 11th, 2017 1:16 pm

We know your hearts are broken at the loss of your dear wife and sister. We remember Mary as a whip smart, feisty woman who post her professional life, learned another language, took up swimming so she could snorkel all over the planet, became an avid birder and who continued to cultivate a life long passion for fine wine and great food. She was quite an accomplished woman! We’ll see you down the road, Mary. Love to you all.

Condolence from Carol Griffin on July 11th, 2017 3:05 pm

I’m very sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and sending my deepest sympathy.
Carol Griffin

Condolence from Susan and Mike Pearl on July 11th, 2017 7:52 pm

To Jim

Please accept our condolences Mary was so very gracious and a pleasure to know. We are so sorry for your loss.

Condolence from Karon Lampy Schaack on July 11th, 2017 8:52 pm

The Class of 1960, Watertown (South Dakota) High School, has lost a treasured member. On behalf of all of us, I send prayers and sympathy to Mary Kathryn’s spouse and siblings. What a contributer she has been! Be proud and treasure the memories.

Condolence from Christine Erlien (Duke) on July 12th, 2017 1:40 pm

Jim. Please accept my sympathy regarding the passing of your wife. Thinking of you and your family.

Condolence from Cheryl Balcombe (previously Siedow) on July 25th, 2017 8:07 am

Dearest Tam,

I am deeply sorry for your loss of Mary. Even though I did not spend that much time with her, I enjoyed her wit, kindness, and generosity of spirit.

Kindest regards,


Condolence from Steve & Jan Thayer on August 17th, 2017 1:17 pm

Our prayers & thoughts are with all of you as you grieve the loss of your wife, sister, aunt. Mary Kathryn (Lousie always used her middle name when talking about her) accomplished so much in her life time. What a generous spirit she had! “When you feel a lifting of the sorrow your bear, know that someone somewhere has knelt in prayer”. May our Lord comfort you.

Article printed from Hall-Wynne Funeral Service & Crematory: https://www.hallwynne.com

URL to article: https://www.hallwynne.com/mary-dunn-siedow/

Copyright © 2014 Hall-Wynne Funeral Service & Crematory. All rights reserved.