A Tribute to Shirley Herrin-Honor, Beauty, and Grace (A Photo Journal)


Shirley Herrin lived a beautiful life comprised of honor, wisdom, tenacity, servanthood, and friendship. So today, we, at Montana Daily Gazette, pay tribute to a life well lived with grace and dignity.

The following are some memories shared by those whom Shirley loved and, in return, loved her.

“I had the most amazing mom in the world; if I could even be half the woman she was, I would be blessed.”- Susan Williams (Shirley’s daughter)

Shirley and her daughter Susan-

“Someday, when I grow up, I want to be like Shirley Herrin. Shirley was involved in everything! Volunteering her time, helping others, constantly encouraging, and going wherever she was needed. I don’t think I ever met someone who didn’t call her “Momma Shirley”. In fact, she was involved with so much all across the state; she is why I had many of my most favorite appearances as Miss Montana. But my favorite thing about her was her faith in Jesus. Shirley was what I would call ‘rock-solid,’ and she shared her faith and love wherever she went- and oh boy, she went just about everywhere!”– Miss Montana

“Shirley was a wise woman and a great mentor.”-Heidi Roedel

“When I grow up, I want to be like Shirley Herrin. From the first day I met Shirley up in the Senate offices at the Capitol, I knew there was something special about her. She shared so much wisdom, truth, and love with everyone she met, and I am forever grateful for her impact on my life.-Kaitlyn Ruch, Young Republican

“With a dapper cap tilted over her black curly hair, rosy cheeks, and attentive eyes, Shirley Herrin was easily the most iconic receptionist at the Montana State Capitol. She got her start in the Capitol “steno pool” (meaning as a stenographer) some 40 or 50 years ago and seemed to know everything and all its history. For the past ten years, she was the trusted chief receptionist for the Senate bullpen – the room of cubicles where new Senators are officed during their freshman legislative session.

Shirley was an endeared den mother for “her senators,” as she called us – always sharing health tips, setting out healthy snacks, and making sure lobbyists never entered without an appointment. A consummate professional, she did an excellent job as a receptionist and administrative secretary every day. She watched over us and cared for us like we were her own kids. And she took excellent care of her own health as well. Even at 81 years old, Shirley remained a sharp, energetic, ageless wonder. She will be so sorely missed. She was such a staple there. Her memory will live on in that Capitol for me every time I visit.” – Senator Jennifer Fielder

“Shirley was a graceful, feisty, Irish soul with sequined, American-flare and a heart set firmly on God, family, and country. She always stood for principle and liberty- while never failing to sport a fashionable hat from her endless collection. She fought for the right like a lion- and loved like The Lamb. How our hearts ache. She now shines above with the stars in Glory- much too soon for us all.” – Nicole Giacomini

Shirley was always a woman of prayer and insisted that we go together to pray for people and even animals to receive healing. Shirley’s persistent personality paid off as we even would go pray for folks who were resistant but ended up healed. That woman went forward witnessing to others! Shirley’s sister-Fee Lamping

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Matt Rosendale and Shirley Herrin

Jean and I had the distinct pleasure of knowing Shirley Herrin and working with her over the years. There was never a time I wasn’t greeted with a smile and a hug, and she was always ready and willing to help others if there was anything at all she could do for them. Shirley will be sorely missed. Matt Rosendale-U.S. Representative State of Montana

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Shirley Herrin with Senator Theresa Manzella

“Shirley Herrin made my time spent in the Senate Bullpen – pleasant, peaceful, productive, healthy and spiritually grounded, and centered. She was so sweet and unassuming, and she took care of all of us. I looked forward to her warm smile and her big, genuine hugs every morning. I miss her terribly, and the Senate bullpen will not be the same without her.”- Senator Theresa Manzella

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Shirley’s sister Fee, Dr. Al Olszewski and Shirley Herrin
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Elsie Arntzen and Shirley Herrin

“Shirley was a mother and grandmother who was a positive force for our future, our children”-Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen

Shirley Herrin and her Senate friends

We adore you Shirley. You are missed.

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Shirley Herrin-Christian, Wife, Mother, Mentor, Friend-

-October 15, 1939 – October 26, 2021


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