Shirley Ickes (Bair)
Shirley F. (Bair) Ickes passed away Friday, June 15, 2018. She was born October 28, 1923, in Sheridan, WY, 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, Montana, just prior to Ralph’s overseas deployment with the US Army. Upon Ralph’s return from Japan, they moved to Clearmont, WY, 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, MT, 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. Shirley 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.
Shirley 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. Shirley is survived by her children, her sister, Marilyn Jones, Kalispell; nephews, Tom Jones and Jerry Jones and their families; her sister-in-law, Margaret Ickes, Helena. Also surviving are 6 granddaughters, 1 grandson, 3 great-granddaughters, and 2 great-grandsons as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
Funeral services will be held Friday, June 22 at 1 pm 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.