Mary Ann was the third of five children born to Jake and Frances Van Well in Hoven, S.D. She grew up on their farm and helped with the daily chores and field work. After graduation from Hoven High School she attended Mt. Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota where she graduated with a major in mathematics and minors in German and Secondary Education. After graduation from Mt. Marty she spent a summer in Europe and then began her teaching career at Hoven High School where she taught math and German for two years. When she got her first paycheck she was in awe that she got paid for something she loved to do!
Mary Ann felt indebted to the Benedictine Sisters of Yankton for her education and desired to do something in return. In 1968 she joined the Benedictine Corps of Lay Volunteers and her assignment was teaching math at Pius X High School. After completing her year as a lay volunteer she continued to teach at Pius. She transitioned from Miss Van Well to Mrs. Coulter in 1970 when she and Robert Coulter were married at Sacred Heart Church in Lincoln. When their first son was born in 1972, Mary Ann chose to be a stay at home mom. She returned to Pius in 1979 where she continued to teach until her retirement in 2007, for a total of 32 years. She served as Math Department Chair for many years and was instrumental in designing basic courses and adding AP courses to meet the needs of all students. Former students recall how she lived in an octagon house. She and her husband designed and built the home on their acreage west of Lincoln and lived there 37 years until they recently moved to a townhouse in Lincoln.
The Coulter’s lived in Sacred Heart Parish until 1978, at which time they joined St. Mary Parish in Denton. Their three sons attended St. Mary’s School and Pius X High School. They chose to send their children to Catholic Schools so that the Christian values taught at home were reinforced in their school environment. Brian (’90) is a design engineer for a manufacturing firm. He and his wife Carla and two sons live in Sherburn, MN. Fr. Gary (’92) was ordained in 1999 and is director of the Good Counsel Retreat House. Kevin (’95) is a civil engineer and works for Peter Kiewit. He and his wife Mindy and three children live in Olathe, KS.
Each year Mary Ann organizes a dinner for the retired Pius X teachers and staff. She keeps fit by doing water aerobics and mall walking. She enjoys reading, crafts, scrapbooking, playing cards, traveling and time with her grandchildren. She volunteers weekly at Foodnet in Denton and participates in prayer and bible study groups. The Coulter’s are members of St. Joseph Parish.
Mary Ann decided to fund this scholarship so that a deserving student from either Sacred Heart Parish or St. Mary’s parish has the opportunity to attend Pius X.