MISSOULA ~ Shirley Jean Cabot, age 77, of Missoula passed away peacefully on May 6th, 2023 with loved ones by her side at St. Patrick's Hospital. She died from sepsis complicated by heart failure and dementia. During her recent stay in the hospital, she was visited and encircled by family and friends.
Shirley was born on January 29th, 1946 to Clarence and Selma Tabbert in Glencoe, MN on a cold Minnesota winter day. She grew up in Gibbon, MN with her sister and brother and graduated from Gibbon High School in 1964. Shirley's hard work ethic and dedication was instilled in her by her parents. She hauled milk cans for her father's business, detasseled corn and pulled weeds for local farmers, worked in a bakery, and was a waitress. In high school, she played clarinet, drums, and piano and was an excellent student. Shirley enrolled at Mankato State University and pursured an elementary education degree.
Shirley and her husband, Les, met when he and his fraternity brothers were eating breakfast at the girls' dormitory where she lived. They began dating, fell in love, and were married on September 17th, 1966. Their 57th wedding anniversary would have been celebrated this fall. Shirley and Les went on to raise their three daughters; Maryann, Sara, and Lexi. Her family was the most important thing in her life. Shirley was an incredible wife, mom, grandma, and teacher. She taught school in Minnesota and the Montana towns of Missoula, Crow Agency, Kalispell, Havre, Denton, and Fromberg. She spent her life accommodating her family, friends, and students. Shirley always sacrificed her time, energy, and needs to help improve the lives of those she loved. She was a loving, giving, and caring person, which is evidenced by the deep sorrow and pain in the hearts of her family and friends since her passing.
Shirley enjoyed golf, and she experienced a hole-in-one on a par three course. It was not pretty, but it went in the cup. She also liked to hike, sight-see, camp, bike, go to the gym, watch Griz sports, read books, and play cards and board games with her friends, daughters, and grandkids. She was a great cook and loved hosting dinners for family and friends. Her best times were spent watching her daughters and grandkids in their sports and activities.
Shirley is survived by her husband Les, daughters Maryann Cabot of Missoula, Alexis Johnson (Matt) of Missoula, and Sara White (Rich) of Billings. She is survived by eight grandkids; Taylor Brinkman, Emily Brinkman, Trevor Brinkman, Rylan White, Nicole White, Avary Johnson, Thomas Johnson, and Maxwell Johnson. Shirley is also survived by her brother Gary Tabbert (Elaine) of Glencoe, MN, brother-in-law Randy Gorr of Long Prarie, MN and several nieces and nephews.
Shirley is proceeded in death by her parents, sister Wanda Gorr, niece Shelly Tabbert, and many uncles, aunts, and cousins.
Shirley was an active member of Lutheran and Methodist churches in all the towns she lived. More recently, she belonged to St. Paul Lutheran Church where she enjoyed Bible studies and her quilting group. She was a follower of Christ and has been welcomed with open arms into Heaven. Shirley will be terribly missed by her husband, who was her soul mate. Her daughters and their families will never forget her love for them, and she will remain in their hearts forever.
A graveside service to celebrate her life will occur in the near future. Arrangements are under the care of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory.
In lieu of flowers and food, please consider a donation in Shirley's name to the Humane Society of Western Montana, 5930 U. S. Hwy 93 South, Missoula, MT 59804.