Celebrating the life of Annie Marie Shirley
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She was the best of everything...ranch wife, mother, grandma, sister, aunt and friend.
Sadly, Annie Shirley of Melstone, Montana passed away the evening of November 9, 2023 after living with cancer for the past four years. It was a challenge she faced with a positive attitude, courage, strength and faith.
Anna Marie Egan was born in Burley, Idaho on July 5, 1958, to Louis and Mary Katherine Egan. She was raised in Bozeman, Montana and graduated from Holy Rosary High School.
Annie met Stuart Shirley, a tall red-headed cowboy, while out dancing. They married on November 28, 1980, and she became Mom to Leland and Clinton. The young family started out in the little rock house on the Gallatin River, a special place described as magical. It was there this ”city” girl embraced the ranch wife role when Stuart worked for the Flying D Ranch.
In 1985 the dream of owning their own ranch became a reality when they started the 59 Ranch. They left the Gallatin Valley for the Bull Mountains south of Musselshell where Annie learned to work cows alongside Stuart, became a proficient horsewoman, roper and enjoyed cooking for the crews. On October 11, 1985, Sam joined the family, a favorite memory of Annie’s.
Annie had an infectious sense of humor and was a founding member of the Musselshell Players dinner theater group.
They left the hills and trees of Musselshell for the prairie, wind and gumbo north of Melstone in 1994. Annie enjoyed gardening when water was plentiful and grew beautiful hollyhocks and other flowers. She was an accomplished accordionist, pianist, Scrabble player and creator of fun! Annie was a masterful quilter; she founded the Long Distance Quilters (for her sisters) and the Cross Country Piece Makers in Roundup.
Annie leaves behind her loving husband and caretaker, Stuart, sons Clinton and Sam, grandchildren Brianna, Mckenzie and Elija, brothers John (Judy Randals) Egan and Tim (Tami) Egan; sisters Mary Jo Perry, Cathe (Kevin) Maguire, Theresa Hood, Loretta Strong, Sara (Pete) Morin, Carmel (Wes) Minster and Cori ”Chickie” Huttinga; brother in-law Roland Moore and sister in-law Jackie Shirley and many nephews nieces and friends.
She was preceded in death by son Leland Shirley, both parents, mother in-law Betsy Shirley (who she adored), father in-law Forrest Shirley, brother Lou Egan, brothers in-law Ken Shirley, Forrest Shirley, Al Perry, Brett Hood and Dave Huttinga; sisters in-law Elaine Moore, Roxanna Egan and Marla Egan.
A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Elizabeth Connor and her team, the Billings Clinic Cancer Center and all the angels on earth who helped care for Annie.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 19 at 1:00 p.m. in the Melstone School gym. A luncheon will follow.
To plant a tree in memory of Annie Marie Shirley, visit the Tribute Store.
5 6th Ave.
Melstone, MT 59054
20543 Hwy. 12 East
Melstone, MT 59054