Mary Frances Tank

January 10, 1923 - August 30, 2017 

Mary Frances Tank

January 10, 1923 - August 30, 2017 

Obituary for Mary Frances Tank


Mary Frances Compton was born in Helena, Montana on January 10, 1923. She was the daughter of Fredrick and Elizabeth (Bessie) Compton and little sister to Fred and John. The family moved often due to Frederick’s job with International Harvester. With these moves they lived in Montana, Minnesota, and finally Williston, North Dakota.

Mary Frances graduated from Williston High School where she excelled in music and won numerous awards. She graduated from Valley City State Teacher’s College with a Liberal Arts degree majoring in English. She took her first teaching job in Ray, North Dakota, where she taught English and music at Ray Public School. At that time, she shared her passion for music by giving private piano lessons in her home. Her piano teaching enriched many lives for over 50 years.

When moving to Ray she met the love of her life, John David Tank. Mary Frances and John David lived all their 58 years of marriage in Ray where they farmed, ranched, as well as owning and operating the Tank Chevrolet dealership.

Mary Frances was very active at Ray Lutheran Church where she directed the church choir, played piano and organ, and was the accompanist for many occasions. She was also very active in the Ray community in various clubs and activities which included leading the Tank family band in which each family member had a part.

Mary Frances is survived by her four children, John David, Jr. (Kristine) Tank, Patricia (Tom) Kennedy, Dex (Gini) Tank, and Judy (Joe) Vialpando; eleven grandchildren: Jason (Virlen) Tank; Justin (Cherie) Tank; Danny (Cindi) Tank; Mary Kennedy; Theresa (Scott) Kegerreis; Jennifer (Johnny) Rask; Brad (Mel) Tank; Tim Vialpando; John (Jennifer) Vialpando; Michelle (Ryan) Holt; Paul (April) Vialpando; Joseph (Lori) Vialpando; twenty-three great grandchildren; and one sister-in-law, Wynona (John) Thompson; and numerous nieces and nephews.

During Mary Frances’ ninety–four years she was truly a blessing to her family and all the people who knew her. Even though she spent her last years battling dementia, perhaps Alzheimer’s, she always had a big smile on her face. Mary Frances is now with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and her husband John David. Mary Frances and John David are probably busy playing cribbage. She may also be playing piano and organ duets. For sure she has a loving smile on her face. May God bless the memory of Mary Frances Tank.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Organ Fund of Lutheran Church of Hope, 1305 West 10th Ave., Broomfield, CO 80020 or the music program of Ray Lutheran Church, 216 Score St., Ray, ND 58849.

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