Shirley May Gabrian

Shirley May Gabrian, 91, passed away Saturday afternoon, Aug. 26, 2017, at The Willows in Red Lodge.

Shirley was born to Ida Bell (Orr) and Alonzo Leckie on May 7, 1926 in Huntley Project, Montana. Shirley became a “city girl” as the family moved to Cooke City, Montana where she was raised and educated, often skiing to school. She later moved to Red Lodge to live with her sister Loretta. It was in Red Lodge where she met Ludwig Gabrian, her beloved husband of 63 years. They were married on March 17, 1945 (St. Patrick’s Day). Ludwig preceded Shirley lin death in July of 2008.

They briefly lived in Red Lodge before moving to the family ranch in the beautiful Beartooth foothills five miles west of Red Lodge.

Shirley then became a “ranch girl” as she learned and enjoyed cooking, baking and flower and vegetable gardening on the ranch.

Late in life she returned to Red Lodge, living in the assisted living care facility, The Willows.

She loved reading, going to the Casino, card playing, travelling and the joy of dancing taught by her brother Clarence at a very young age. Most of all, Shirley enjoyed being with her many lifelong friends and family. She gave optimism to everyone who knew her with a quick giggle, an easy smile and those twinkling blue eyes.

She was active in the Draper Ladies Community Club, Red Lodge Elks Lodge and 4-H Club. She also served the community as an election judge.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Ludwig; her sisters, Loretta Kotar and Helen Johnson; and brothers, Fred Thomas, Kenneth Thomas, Clarence Thomas, Jack Thomas, Bob Leckie and Bill Leckie.

Shirley is survived by a daughter, Janice (Robert) Gabrian Moore; and sons, Lyle (Valerie) Gabrian and Harris (Renee) Gabrian; grandchildren, Travis (Suzi) Braden, Lael (Joel) Gabrian, Kelsey (Nathan) Baver and Andrew Gabrian; great grandchildren, Zachary and Jonathan Braden. She is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews.

Memorial Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 at Red Lodge Community Church.

Special thanks to the staff at the Willows, Beartooth Billlings Clinic and Hospice Care for all of their loving care.

Memorials may be given to The Willows, Red Lodge Community Church, Beartooth Hospice or charity of choice.