Shirley F. Ickes

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Shirley F. (Bair) Ickes passed away Friday, June 15, 2018. She was born Oct. 28, 1923, in Sheridan, Wyoming to parents Viola (Picken) and Stark Bair. Shirley spent her early childhood in the Sarpy Basin. The family, including her younger sister, Marilyn, moved to Hardin where the girls completed their educations. After graduating from Hardin High School in 1941, Shirley moved to Seattle to work for Western Union as a part of the war effort.

Shirley and Ralph Cameron Ickes were married June 5, 1944 in Billings just prior to Ralph’s overseas deployment with the U.S. Army. Upon Ralph’s return from Japan, they moved to Clearmont, Wyoming, where they built and operated a mechanic’s shop. This was where Shirley established her expertise at washing and mending LOADS of greasy coveralls!

They returned to Tullock Creek and the Big Horn, Montana area after several years to ranch and farm at various locations. Shirley and Ralph raised three children: daughters, Fran (Ron) Gunn, Ballantine; Dayle, Helena; and son, Stark (Naomi), Big Horn.

In 1978, Ralph and Shirley formed a partnership with Stark on the family homestead on Tullock, actively ranching until their retirement. After Ralph’s death in 2000, Shirley remained on the family ranch doing what she loved to do: cooking, baking, quilting, and even patching a few pairs of Levis now and then. Shirley moved to Hardin in later years, residing at Heritage Acres Assisted Living until her last few months.

Shirley was active in a variety of organizations. She was a long-standing member of the Custer Congregational Church. She was active in the Friendly Circle and enjoyed many hours with the quilting group. Shirley was a member of the TreasureBelles. She enjoyed the friendships and variety of activities involved in promoting the beef industry. Shirley was also a member of the Custer American Legion Auxiliary.

She spent a lifetime making meals for anybody who showed up at meal time, baking bread and cinnamon rolls (the BEST), quilting and sewing anything that caught her eye.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, husband and nephew, Lyle Jones. She is survived by her children, her sister, Marilyn Jones, Kalispell; nephews, Tom Jones and Jerry Jones and their families; and her sisterin-law, Margaret Ickes, Helena. Also surviving are six granddaughters, one grandson, three greatgranddaughters and two great-grandsons, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 22 at the Custer Congregational Church with interment to follow at the Custer Cemetery.

Please, join the family back at the church after the interment to visit and remember Shirley. Memorials may be made to the Custer Congregational Church or a charity of one’s choice.


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