Shirley Wright, 95, of Billings passed away Saturday, June 23, 2018, surrounded by her loving family.
Shirley was born in Kansas City, Missouri on February 22, 1923. At the age of 6 weeks she was adopted by James and Bertha Rothrock who took her to McPherson, Kansas where she grew up. After one semester of college she left to help in the family owned grocery store. Frank and Shirley were high school sweethearts, married for 68 years and had two children.
While Frank was in the service, Shirley moved around the country with him, but settled back in McPherson as a proofreader and reporter for the newspaper. The family spent a short time in Colorado before moving to Billings in 1958. Frank worked with Shirley’s brother Jim at Montana Marina while Shirley worked at the Northern Hotel as the accounts receivable clerk. With Frank working at the marina, the family did a lot of boating and water skiing.
Shirley and Frank opened Wrights Custom Repair in 1976 and it continues to be run by family. She was the office manager for 27 years and enjoyed visiting with the customers and was always willing to go the extra mile.
In 1960 Frank and Shirley helped start Christmas Wreath Lane on Avenue D, which is now in its 58th year. Frank designed the wreaths, figures and corner displays while Shirley was very involved with the block parties and kept extensive scrapbooks of the events.
Shirley’s involvement in activities over the years include the Boat Club, being elected the first president of the Women’s American Legion Auxiliary in 1949 and playing in bridge and pinochle clubs. Shirley’s involvement in her children’s activities includes being the secretary of the Women’s Stock Car Racing Auxiliary while Barry was racing and assisting Barbara with 4-H cooking and sewing projects. She was also a true fan at all of her grand-children’s activities.
As we reminisce about Shirley “GRAMS”, several things come to mind. She never complained, was a good mediator, a good speller, loved the color red, chocolate, and homemade ice cream. Most of all she was a good wife, mother, grandma, and great-grandma.
She is survived by her son Barry (Colleen) Wright; daughter Barbara (Bruce) Lundin; grandchildren: Amanda (David) Kelly, Michelle (Michael) Churchill, Jill (Chris) Currier, Kevin Lundin; great-grandchildren: Calista and Jace Kelly, Katlyn Churchill and Taylor Currier.
Donations are suggested to Riverstone Hospice. Services will be at 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 29, 2018 at Grace Methodist Church.