"Concerned with the General Welfare of the Deaf of Iowa"

Updated July 4, 2017


Shirley Marilyn (Winn) Marringer

December 16, 1935—February 16, 2017

Shirley M. Marringer, 81, of Missoula, passed away Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, at Community Medical Center’s hospice room.

Shirley was born Dec. 16, 1935, to Merrill and Leona Winn in Ainsworth, Nebraska. She was the eleventh of twelve children. At the age of 2, Shirley’s family realized that she had been born deaf. Her mother Leona, a teacher, understanding the importance of education made the difficult decision to send Shirley to the School for the Deaf in Omaha. At age 5, Shirley started her schooling in Omaha and began riding the train to school where she lived during the school year, returning home at Christmas and summer vacations until she graduated at age 19 in 1954. After graduation she moved into an apartment in Omaha with her best friend Charlotte (Peachie) where she met and married Gene Ellerman. Their daughter Susan was born in 1957.

Shirley and Susan moved west, staying with her sister Margaret in the Tri-cities and then to her brother Homer's in Oregon. Shirley wanted Susan to be among her hearing family to learn spoken language. Later they moved to Seattle where she worked at Yuen Lui Photography in downtown Seattle as a photo retoucher then in 1969 Shirley began working for the United States Postal Service at the main postal hub in downtown Seattle. She worked there until retiring in 1998.

In 1978 Shirley met and married Paul Marringer in Seattle. They lived and worked in the Seattle area and were very active in the deaf community belonging to many clubs and organizations. Their deaf culture was very important to them and they were proud of that community. Together they traveled with their friends and family including RV trips with their grandchildren, camping, going to the Washington and Oregon coasts, and cruises with friends and family. After Paul’s passing in 2006, Shirley moved to Montana to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. In her final years she enjoyed watching her great grandchildren play in sports, shopping, road trips and visiting family members.
Sign up to get each day's obituaries sent to your email inbox

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband Paul and both parents, three brothers Homer, Norris and Charles and six sisters Hazel, Esther, Lenora, Margaret, Ardath and Anna. She is survived by her sisters Ramona Conrad and Carol Johnson, both of Pine, Arizona. Daughter Susan Ellerman and spouse Laurie Smith of Missoula, granddaughter (Andrea) KeNani Souza-Resner and husband Shaun Resner of Missoula, grandson Nathan Souza Sr. of Seattle and eight great-grandchildren Makaya Resner (St. Paul, Minnesota), Kenoa Ratanakul (Missoula), Tavin Souza (Billings), Jaiden Resner (Missoula), Keaton Souza (Billings), Shoshanah Resner (Missoula), Nathan Souza Jr. (Missoula) and Keoki Cardinal (Missoula). She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and her canine pals Lambea and Carrie.

Cremation is under the care of Cremation Society of the Rockies, and a burial will take place later in Ainsworth, Nebraska.

Thanks to Cremation and Burial Society of the Rockies, Missoula, Montana and Shirley Meyer for the information.