Cover photo for Cynthia (Zignego)  Stiverson's Obituary
Cynthia (Zignego)  Stiverson Profile Photo
1944 Cynthia 2023

Cynthia (Zignego) Stiverson

May 3, 1944 — February 20, 2023


Cynthia Ann Stiverson of Annapolis, MD, was born in Red Wing, MN, on May 3, 1944, the daughter of Willis Zignego and Dolores Kuharski Zignego. She attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School and graduated from Red Wing High School in 1962. She then attended the College of St. Catherine, graduating in 1966. She did graduate work in history at the College of William and Mary and received a M.S. in Library Science from the University of Michigan. She worked as a reference librarian at the New York State Legislative Reference Library and then became the head of the Colonial Williamsburg Research Library in Williamsburg, VA.

It was in Williamsburg that she met her husband-to-be. He was a freshly minted Ph.D. in American History from Johns Hopkins, hired as a historian in the Research Department, the same department where Cindy was Head Librarian and Curator of Rare Books. Cindy and Gregory soon began dating and they were married the following May 5, 1973, nearly 50 years ago, in the historic Wren Chapel (built in 1732) at William and Mary College.

In 1975, Gregory accepted the job of Deputy State Archivist of Maryland. Cindy remained in Williamsburg at a job she loved, with Gregory commuting back and forth on weekends. Pregnancy finally ended her tenure at Colonial Williamsburg and she moved to Annapolis to rejoin Gregory a few weeks before Felicity was born.

Cindy devoted herself to raising their children: Felicity (b. Jan. 1, 1977), Miles (b. Nov. 17, 1981), and Emelia (b. April 6, 1986). After Emy was in school, she returned to work at the Legislative Services Library for the State of Maryland. She was still working there full-time as Acquisitions Manager at the time of her death. She also still went weekly to her personal trainer, who had looked after her health for more than 20 years. Cancer wasn’t going to get Cindy down. She was going to live every day to the fullest.

Cindy became an accomplished family historian, tracing her Zignego ancestors back to sixteen-century Italy. She spent fifteen years contacting relatives here and abroad, hiring experts in Italy, Germany, and Peru, visiting Germany, Italy, and the West Coast, and reading tens of thousands of pages of newspapers on microfilm from places where Zignegos and their relatives lived, including New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Washington State, California, Alaska, and the Yukon Territory. The result was a professionally designed 166-page book, The Zignego Family: From Italy to Red Wing, Minnesota. More family information came to light after the book was published, and last September a revised edition was published, containing 40 more pictures and 25 more pages of text. At the time of her death, she had finished a draft of her mother’s side of the family, the Kuharskis.

In addition to her husband Gregory, her three children Felicity (Michael) Mrnak, Miles, and Emelia (Emy), Cindy is survived by a wonderful granddaughter, Indigo Dolores Mrnak. She is also survived by her sister Julie Zignego, of Maryland, and John Zignego, of Red Wing.

Mass of Ressurection will be 11 a.m., Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the Church of St. Joseph with Father Brandon Theisen presiding. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery. Online condolences may be left for the family at

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