Nov. 28, 1928-Nov. 4, 2019

A wonderful woman, mother and friend was called home to her Heavenly Father on Monday, November 4, 2019. Shirley Ann Dowling Morton was born in Butte, MT, on November 28, 1928, to Francis and Frances Dowling.  She was raised in a typical hard-working, Christian Butte family. She attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School through 8th grade.  She then attended Butte High School where she was a majorette in the marching band for the Butte Bulldogs. 

While in high school Shirley began working for a firm of attorneys as a secretary, and continued that work after graduating in 1946.  One of the firm’s attorneys, Arnold Olsen, ran for Attorney General, for which he was elected, so Shirley followed him to Helena to work in the Capital Building as his secretary in January of 1949. It was here that she met one of her best friends, Peg McLaughlin. After working as Mr. Olsen’s secretary for two terms, Shirley and Peg decided to set off on an adventure and move somewhere new and exciting. They narrowed it down to either Denver or San Francisco. They ventured to Denver to see how they liked the climate but there was a heavy snowstorm the few days they were there, so on to San Francisco they went!  Shirley was hired as a secretary for the architectural firm of Anshen and Allen, where she met her future husband, Jim Morton. She and Jim married on December 16, 1958.  They moved to Squaw Valley, CA, where Jim was designing homes in the Lake Tahoe area, and Shirley served as the secretary for the Olympic Commission for the 1960 Winter Olympics. 

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Jim and Shirley would often come back to Butte to visit her family and it was during one of these trips that she and Jim began to purchase property in the Jackson Creek area of the Bridger Mountains, just east of Bozeman.  They permanently moved to the ranch at Jackson Creek in 1977. They expanded Green Mountain Ranch by adding property near Logan, MT, in 1981. Shirley and Jim raised commercial cattle until 1985 when they began raising registered Red Angus and updated the ranch name to Green Mountain Red Angus.  Shirley resided at the ranch at Jackson Creek until the winter of 2013, when she moved to Parkhaven in Manhattan, MT. 

Shirley had many wonderful adventures throughout her life, but above it all she treasured and loved her family and many friends. Shirley was known as the ‘Queen of the Casserole’ and could whip up an amazing dinner at a moment’s notice. She was an incredibly gracious hostess and always presented herself and her family with class and grace. 

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, James Morton, her parents, Francis and Frances Dowling, and her sister, Carol Miller. She is survived by her son, Bob Morton and his wife, Julie, and her two grandsons, Tom and Jim Morton, of Three Forks, MT, her much beloved sister, Joan Lutz of Butte, her nephew John (Becky) Lutz and niece Stephanie Lutz of Coppell, TX, as well as her stepsons Jim (Kathy) Morton of Plymouth, MN, and John Morton of Downers Grove, IL, numerous step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, and many cousins in WA and CA. Shirley loved her many caregivers at Parkhaven, especially Nick Hamilton. Thank you so much for all of your love and devotion in caring for Shirley. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service to celebrate Shirley’s life will be held next summer.

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