On Tuesday, Feb 7, 2017 — God welcomed Our Mom, "Gramma Shirl" into Heaven.
Shirley Irene (Cissel) Casagranda was born April 21, 1932, in Billings, Montana, the second child born to George Emmett "Bill" and Irene Faye (Hume) Cissel. Shirley died at home with family in Tucson, Arizona, where she resided after moving from Butte in September 2015.
Shirley grew up a true country girl in Billings and later just south of Livingston, studying hard, doing well in school, spending her free time with her horses, of which she owned many. As she couldn't imagine going to school anywhere but the "cow college", she graduated in 1953 from Montana State University with a degree in Pre-Medicine, where she was also a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and served as President during her senior year. Upon graduation from college she interned at St. Vincent Hospital and became a Medical Technologist.
Having met a "boy from Butte" (Walkerville) while at MSU, Shirley later married the love of her life, Lloyd George Casagranda in 1955. Her husband's duties with the Montana Fish & Game Dept. took them all over the Treasure State, until they settled in Helena. Lloyd passed away in 1965 leaving Shirley a widow in her early thirties, following which she moved permanently to Butte. She then lost both her parents in 1968
Shirley dedicated herself and worked tirelessly in raising her sons as a single mom, and providing for them during her extensive career which included positions at the Great Falls Clinic, Murray Clinic and West Side Professional Building in Butte, and until she retired from the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) located in the Finlen Hotel Building in 1999. As one of the toughest women anyone could ever meet, Shirley was described as having a rough exterior and a heart of gold, as evidenced by her love of animals including her dog Frosty, and later her "kitties" in Arizona. Her passions included spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, travelling, reading and baking, as well as studying and marveling at the extensive bird life in Tucson on a daily basis.
She is survived by her brother, Gary Cissel of Port Angeles, Washington; son, Tony (Kristie) Casagranda of Tucson, Arizona; son, Bret (Susan) Casagranda of Butte; four grandchildren, John (Catherine) Casagranda of Butte, B.J. Casagranda of Butte, Stacy Casagranda of Billings, and Amber (Travis) Hartman of Bozeman, and two great-grandchildren (Adyson and Aydon); numerous aunts, uncles, cousins; and her special friend and long-time neighbor, Terri Bennett of Butte.
Per her wishes, cremation has taken place and she will be interred next to her husband in Holy Cross Cemetery in Butte, at a service this summer.
The Family suggests donations in her memory be made to the BSB Animal Shelter at 699 Centennial, or to a charity of your choice.
Express condolences at www.mtstandard.com.