Shirley Tanner


Shirley Tanner
April 1, 1936 — May 3, 2024

Shirley Tanner passed away peacefully on May 3, in Casper, Wyo. She has now joined her beloved husband John.

Shirley was born April 1, 1936, in LaPama, Calif, joining an older brother, Richard. In her younger years, after her mother died, Shirley and here sister Loretta came to Big Piney to live with their aunt Inez and uncle Rod Bennett. While in high school in Big Piney, she met the love of her life, John. During her time in Big Piney, she was an active part of the Buss and Mardell Fear family and they became an important part of her life. She helped on the ranch, feeding their family and ranch hands while being active in school. Shirley was involved in cheerleading, on the student council, 4-H, and FHA (Future Homemakers of America), and the Glee Club.

Shirley attended the University of Wyoming where she earned a Bachelors degree. Her freshman year she lived at Hoyt Hall with her best friend Sally Budd, along with two other ladies, who became lifelong friends. She pledged to the Kappa Delta sorority after her freshman year with Sally and later the two moved in with the grandmother of one of her roommate, who had a home in Laramie.

Shirley and John were married on Sept. 29, 1956. They both went to work at the family ranch, the Budd Hereford Ranch where Shirley cooked for the hired hands, was active in all aspects of being a ranchers wife and became active in the community again.

They became parents to Lynn in Aug. 1957, then Gayle came along in Jan. 1960 and Shirley became involved in their activities. She was a Campfire Girls leader and a 4-H leader and was active in the Eastern Star, and Jobs Daughters. She was also a substitute teacher in the Big Piney schools, which neither Lynn nor Gayle enjoyed. Shirley was very proud and supportive of her children and all their friends, following them around the state to all the events, making prom dresses with a few daysnotice, typing that paper for them, and keeping them busy and out of trouble. Shirley easily included all these tasks in her already busy daily life as a ranchers wife, cooking for the ranch crew, running to Pinedale for tractor parts, keeping books for the cattle they ran on the ranch and the many other tasks that needed to be done daily. The only thing Shirley never did was milk the cows. This was on the advice of Johns grandmother, Lulu. In 2017, she was awarded the Cowbells Lifetime Award from the Sublette County Cowbells.

After John left the ranch life, Shirley became the Big Piney Town clerk for many years and continued to be an active community member. When John finally retired, they became snowbirds and spent their winters in Arizona, camping, riding 4-wheelers and walking the deserts looking for treasures. Throughout these years, they met many new lifelong friends making a home in Kingman where they continued their community spirit, having many gatherings with new and old friends. They also shared their new surroundings with many Sublette County friends who came to visit.

In 2019 they moved to Casper to be closer to their kids and grandkids. Above all, Shirley loved her family and friends. She was a great role model and always welcomed friends and anyone else into the house for a cup of coffee and a chat and she always had some treat to serve. She loved to cook, craft, paint and crochet. She also loved the mountains and the desert. You could always find her sitting and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, watching the wildlife or reading a good book.

She was a quiet soul with a heart as big as the sky. She will be missed by many and remembered by all.

She is survived by her daughters Lynn (Mike) Rodell of Casper, Gayle (Bill) Holder of Casper, granddaughter Lindsey (Andrew) Burgess of Big Piney, grandson Clint (Jordon) Holder of Casper and great-grandchildren Sydney Burgess, Avery Burgess, Sutton Holder and Zy Holder.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Central Wyoming Hospice, the Southwest Sublette County Pioneers Senior Center or the Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney, all organizations Shirley loved.

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