Shirley Lenore Rannells


July 26, 1921 –May 22, 2012

Funeral services for Shirley Lenore Rannells were held May 26 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Shirley, 90, died May 22 at South Big Horn Hospital.

She was born July 26, 1921, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the daughter of Dewey and Olive Annetta Crowley Hutchinson. She grew up and received her schooling in Twin Falls, Idaho, and graduated from Twin Falls High School. She attended Pasadena (Calif.) Junior College for two years.

During World War II, Shirley worked as a “Rosie the Riveter,” operating a rivet gun on machine gun turrets of the B-21 bombers.

In 1947 she entered the television program “Queen for a Day” and won the title. She later worked as a switchboard operator and at a periodontist‘s office in Salt Lake City, Utah.

She married James M. “Mid” Rannells Aug. 27, 1950.

Shirley worked on the family’s ranch at Hyattville for 35 years. She grew a large garden, canned, baked pies and raised bum lambs. She enjoyed painting with oils and won numerous awards at regional art shows.

She was an avid long-distance swimmer and for many years took part in the Senior Olympics, winning many gold medals.

Shirley’s family was very important to her. She attended the school activities and sporting events of her children and her grandchildren.

She was a member of the Daughters of the Nile and a 50-year member of the Order of the Easter Star, serving as the Worthy Grand Matron for the state of Wyoming in 1984.

Her husband James “Mid” Rannells, brother Roland Hutchinson, grandson Larry Rannells, son-in-law Will Gregson and daughter-in-law Darlene Rannells preceded her in death.

She is survived by her five children and their spouses, Kathy Gregson of Frederickburg, Va., Jim and Marti Rannells of Basin, Judy Rannells of Murray, Utah, Lori and Ken Thon of Basin and Debbi and Nolan “Whiz” Beck of Marathon, Wis.; her sister Maida Spjut of Tremonton, Utah; 19 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

The Order of Easter Star graveside rites were held at the Hyattville Cemetery.

Memorials in Shirley’s name are being accepted at Security State Bank, Box 531, Basin, WY 82410. Proceeds will benefit The Shack.