ELAINE S. SIVERSON

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ELAINE STEINACKER SIVERSON  

Passed away May 25, 2012 at home in Pittsboro, NC following a brief illness. Born in St. Paul, MN to Roxanne and Tony Tonda, she recalled happy times growing up in her Italian-American grandparent's home surrounded by loving aunts and uncles. Her mother later married George Steinacker, and the family moved to Washington, DC where Elaine attended Woodrow Wilson High School.
After graduating in 1939, she worked as a phone company operator and then as a secretary in the Bureau of Medical Services at the US Public Health Service. She is remembered for her operatic voice, and she sang with the Washington Choral Society in the 1940's. She was also a Cherry Blossom Princess, and was named Miss Minnesota at the 1949 Cherry Blossom Festival.
She met her future husband, Reuben Siverson, also from Minnesota, while attending a Minnesota State Society party in Washington. They were married for 47 years until Reuben's death in 1997. Ms. Siverson's proudest career achievement was working as a secretary for the National Security Council during the Eisenhower Administration. She was often the only woman in attendance at high-level meetings, and had access to what she would call "eyes only" confidential documents.
In 1961, the family moved to Bethesda, MD where she joined the St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church choir. She also created illustrations for the church cookbook and volunteered in the parish library after mass.
In the 1980's, she volunteered to prepare and address greeting cards for the White House, and her elegant handwriting adorned official envelopes sent out all across the country.
Survivors include her children, Rolf (Pat) Siverson of Glade Hill, VA, Roland (Caroline) Siverson of Pittsboro, NC and Claire Siverson (Renee Smith) of Vallejo, CA; three grandchildren, Aaron Wellman of Greensboro, NC, Eric and Nicholas Siverson of Glade Hill, VA; and a cousin, Mary Lou Krengel of St. Paul, MN.
Arrangements pending. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UNC Hospice PO Box 1077 Pittsboro, NC 27312.


Published in The Washington Post on June 3, 2012
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