Shirley Anne Johnson Obituary 2024 - Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory (2024)

Shirley Anne Johnson, 84, of Missoula passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 29, 2024, at her home surrounded by family. Her burial will be conducted by the Missoula Eagles at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, July 12, 2024, at the Missoula Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, July 13, 2024, at the Eagles Lodge in Missoula. Online condolences may be left at

Shirley Johnson was born in Bozeman Montana on August 6, 1939, to Claude and Florence Grimes. The youngest of three children. I had two older brothers, Lyle and Dick. We moved from Bozeman when I was 3 months old. My father worked on road construction, and we lived in Sheridan, Wyoming; Helena, Montan; Lincoln, Montana and moved to Great Falls, Montana when I was 2 ½ years old. I grew up in Great Falls. I graduated from Great Falls High school in May 1957.

I met my first husband in April of 1956, and we married in September 1957. We both started college at the College of Great Falls in September 1957. I had my first child, Terry Ann, in March of 1959 and graduated with a 2-year Teacher's Certificate in May 1959. We moved to Missoula, Montana in September 1959 so my husband could continue his schooling at the University of Montana. I began my teaching career at Jefferson School 2nd grade at the end of November 1959. I taught 2nd grade the next year and moved to 4th grade in 1961. In October of 1961 my husband and I divorced.

I met my second husband, Ted Johnson, that same month. We had a whirlwind relationship and married in February 1962. Some said it would never last. I quit my teaching the week before our marriage. With this marriage I inherited three great children, Laurell who was 10 and Lynn who was 9 and Markeita who was 5 and lived with her mother. At the end of that year we had our son, Marty. I now was mother to 4 children and married to a wonderful father who was an on the road salesman of Boiler Compounds and Janitorial Supplies. He traveled most of Montana, Western Idaho and Northern Wyoming. He was gone almost every week. I was fortunate to be able to be a stay-at-home Mom, but Ted felt I needed to have some "adult life". He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and liked what they did and felt I would fit in well in the Auxiliary. So, one thing led to another and I was initiated into Auxiliary #32 on April 15, 1964. I began as just a member but before long I joined the Drill Team. I had been a majorette in High School so I could march. I was on the Drill Team for 3 years and then an officer position opened up and they elected me to the Chaplain chair. From there I moved up the chairs and in 1970 I was installed as President of the Auxiliary. While I was an officer I competed each year at the State Convention on the Missoula #32 Ritual team. In 1974 I ran for a State office and was successful in becoming a State Trustee.

At the same time our children were growing up and Ted missed having young ones around and began talking about adopting. Because of complications I was no longer able to have children, but I really didn't want to commit to 18 more years of children. I was in a card club at this time and one of our members was a Foster mom and I thought "wow" that sounds like the answer. I don't remember exactly how I did it, but I got Ted to come up with that idea on his own. I always wished I could remember because I probably could have used it throughout life. However, we began looking into this avenue and decided we would do it. We took the training and became licensed and November 11, 1979, we received our first placement. Michael, 11 and Julie, 7 for 10 days. I have to stop here and say that we were licensed for 0- 5yrs. I guess I learned at that time "if you answer the phone, you are available". That is how bad they needed Foster parents. It was all good. But we did not get a baby until November and then we got a newborn. We were on our way. We continued with foster care for 14 years and fostered 30 children. During this time, I once again, because of a death in our Auxiliary, served as Auxiliary President in 1979-80. I proceeded through the State chairs and in 1982 I became the State Auxiliary President. Following this I was asked if I would be interested in being an International Auxiliary officer. I decided 'why not'? So my State put my name in for a Grand Auxiliary office. I wasn't successful that year, but the next year I ran again, and I was elected. In 1984 I was doing a lot of traveling and it became difficult to continue as a foster parent, so we retired from that venture. I continued in the Grand Auxiliary and in 1991 I became Grand Auxiliary President. I finished serving the Grand Auxiliary in 1993 and became once again just a "plain member" of Missoula Auxiliary #32. That's when I started donating my time to the Missoula Manor Homes Bake Sales every month. Following this I became chairman of the Antique Engine Club monthly dinners. All of the money from these events was for our different charities, both local and our Fraternal Order of Eagle National charities.

During this time, I also began working in my husband's business in the office. I worked in that business until we closed it and then I went to work for my youngest son, as his office manager. He had a Hardwood Floor business and I continued there until my husband had to go on dialysis in 2000 and wanted to continue his selling career. At that time, he was just traveling in Eastern Montana, but it became too much for him to dialyze on Monday, travel to the middle of the State and dialyze there on Wednesday and return home to dialyze on Friday in Missoula. I quit my job with my son and began a seven-year stint of driving so my husband could continue selling which he loved. I lost him in 2007 after 45 years of marriage. And they said it would never last! What an awesome man he was! I was blessed. Having time on my hands once again, I went back to work with my son and continued until he closed his business to move out of town. It was at this time I decided to begin volunteering at the Missoula Food Bank. I began working one day a week repackaging eggs. And I am still doing that as well as the Bake Sales and the Antique Engine dinners. I am currently in my 2nd year as the local Junior Past President.

I now have 10 grand children and 20 great grandchildren and am a 56-year member of Missoula Auxiliary #32. I am blessed with excellent health and my goal is to live to 100 and as of August 6 of this year I am 81% of the way there. The good Lord willing, I know I will make that and beyond.

In addition to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Shirley is survived by her five children, Laurell Watson, TJ Johnson (Judy), Markieta Snell (David), Terry Martin-Denning (Jeff) and Marty Johnson.

Our wonderful mother wrote this, and we think it serves as a perfect obituary to honor such a service devoted life. She may not have made it to 100 but she lived an amazingly full life she led. Please join us at her Celebration of Life service to honor this amazing woman.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Missoula Eagles Charity Fund; 2420 South Avenue West; Missoula, MT 59801.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Anne Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Shirley Anne Johnson Obituary 2024 - Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory (2024)


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