BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Shirley Mae Newman, age 80, passed away April 23, 2011, at the Whatcom Hospice House in Bellingham after a long fight with colon cancer.
Shirley Mae was born in Wolf Point, Mont., on Nov. 15, 1930, to Shirley Edward Bridges and Ellen (Babe) Bridges. Her early years were spent growing up on the CBC horse ranch and later in Oswego, Mont. Her experience with a working horse ranch impacted her entire life and resulted in a life-long passion for horses and the horse culture. Shirley became a skilled horsewoman and an accomplished barrel racer in her teenage years. She attended schools in Frazer, Oswego and Wolf Point, Mont. Shirley's life is a tale of two careers. Initially Shirley was a beautician for over 20 years before going back to school to pursue a career in nursing when she was 40. Her nursing career spanned more than 30 years when she finally retired in her early 70s. Shirley's life resulted in stops in many locations in Montana, South Africa, Minnesota, New York, Georgia, California, Idaho, Washington and even Hawaii. Along the way, she accumulated many diverse and lasting friendships. Her encouraging and positive impact on the lives she touched was greater than she realized and she is missed by many.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband Reino (Lou) Newman. She is survived by her son, Nestor (Lorraine) Newman of Bellingham; grandchildren Allida Mae (Bryan) White of Goose Creek, S.C., and Erik N. Newman of Anacortes, Wash.; sister Elizabeth (Betty) Cahill and niece Lynette Cahill of Tucson, Ariz., and by several cousins. A special thank you to Kail and Renee Mantle of Montana Horses for their friendship and hospitality making Shirley's last years a dream come true living on a working horse ranch.
At Shirley's request no memorial will occur. At a later date, Shirley will be returned to Montana and the land she loved.