Cover photo for Mary H. Sivacek's Obituary
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Mary H. Sivacek

March 6, 1949 — May 17, 2024

Mary H. Sivacek

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Mary Lynn Harman Sivacek, 75, of Staunton, Virginia, passed away on Friday May 17, 2024, at Augusta Medical Center in Fishersville, Virginia.

Mary Lynn was born in Staunton on March 6, 1949 to the late Dr. William E. Harman and Elizabeth (Betty) Jane (Hivick) Harman.

Mary Lynn graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1967, where she met her first husband, Dr. Francis S. Collins of Staunton, Virginia. She attended Lynchburg College and then transferred to James Madison University with a focus on Special Education.

Francis and Mary Lynn were married for 23 years, during which time they had two daughters, Margaret Brandon and Elizabeth Elgin. Over the years the family lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, New Haven, Connecticut, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

Mary Lynn met her second husband, James Elmer Sivacek of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1992.

They bonded over the adoption of “Bob” the cat, whom others had given up on due to a heart condition (he lived 22 years). They wed and settled in her ancestral home of Staunton in 2001.

During her formative years, Mary Lynn was known as a gregarious classmate and friend, particularly when in the company of her best friend Vicki Desmond (Jarvis). Stories of hilarious pranks and shenanigans have been recounted many times to her children and grandchildren.

Mary Lynn had a strong faith in God, and always was willing to join in prayer with family or friends in need. From an early age she exhibited a gift for music, and spent a number of years writing and performing her own original Christian songs with Francis for her church community. 

Like her mother, Mary Lynn had a precise and robust catalog of knowledge regarding plants and gardening, and would often be found outside crafting a new flower bed or planting bushes and trees.

Anyone that knew Mary Lynn also knew of her love of coffee, cats, and her impromptu theatrics, including stories, impressions, songs, and characters she brought alive on everyday evenings.

The extended family wishes to acknowledge the love and devotion her husband, Jim, showed to Mary Lynn in the seven years since her devastating stroke. Many thanks are also due to her caregivers, Beth Wolfe and Leslie Scheffel, who have become honored family members.

Mary Lynn’s surviving family includes her sister, Jane Harman Chase (David) of Staunton, Virginia; two daughters, Margaret Brandon Collins of Wilmington, North Carolina, and Elizabeth Elgin Fraker (Michael) of Britton, Michigan; her five grandchildren, Abby, Sellers, Julian, Bailey and Norah; and niece and nephews, Matthew, Jonathan, Christopher, and Sarah. 

A graveside service will be conducted at 2:00 PM on Saturday, May 25, 2024 at Oak Lawn Mausoleum and Memory Gardens in Staunton with the Reverend Michael Turner officiating.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary H. Sivacek, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, May 25, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

OAK LAWN MAUSOLEUM AND MEMORY GARDENS

1921 Shutterlee Mill Rd, Staunton, VA 24401

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