Shirley Lenore Rannells

July 26, 1921 – May 22, 2012

Funeral services for Shirley Lenore Rannells were 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.

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.


  1. Bill and Joyce,
    Mom and Dad always mentioned what wonderful neighbors you were and how much they enjoyed talking to both of you. They loved their little house on the hill.
    Thank you for sharing your life with them.

  2. To the Family of Mid and Shirley Rannels
    We were sadden to hear the news of your Mother’s passing.
    We were fortunate to have lives next door to Shirley and Mid for six years. They were wonderful neighbors and dear friends.
    Our very best to all of you.
    Bill and Joyce Weatherill

  3. Donna,
    It was wonderful to hear from you and thank you for your kind words. You are correct..not a day goes by that I don’t think about both Mom and Dad. Mom enjoyed life and radiated that to everyone she came in contact with. She will be missed! The Lord gave us several days where we were able to say goodbye.
    God bless you and your family.
    Ken and Lori
    Teri, Toby and Taylor

  4. Lori and families,
    Was saddened to hear of your mom’s passing, I know how much you will miss her as my mom has been gone 4 yrs now, and not a day goes by I wish I could call her. It is especially hard on the Grandchildren, again, I have made mends with that too. I will always remember visiting with your mom and dad when we bought Kid.
    What a wonderful couple. Basin has truely lost a
    wonderful, loving, kind women. Thinking of you and
    your family. Donna, Riley, Glendee Ane & Billie

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