Shirley J. (Azure) Gardipee, 71, of Great Falls, died of cancer Saturday at her home.
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A vigil service is 7 p.m. Friday at O'Connor Memorial Chapel. Her funeral is 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Cremation has taken place under the direction of O'Connor Funeral Home.
Shirley was born April 14, 1939, in Fort Belknap.
She married Charles S. Gardipee on Feb. 16, 1957.
She is survived by six children, Charles Gardipee, George (Terra) Gardipee, Monte Gardipee, Tammy (Jeff) Jacobson, Dave Gardipee and Margie (Vern) Stevens; 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, all of Great Falls.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Charley Gardipee.
In 1977, Shirley earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Great Falls. She also had a teaching degree as well as a nursing degree, and became a home school coordinator working with underprivileged kids. She was a den mother, Girl Scout leader and foster grandparent, and gave home care to the elderly. She also worked as an income tax consultant.
Shirley loved to go camping and fishing with family and friends. She never missed an event her kids were involved in, and she also loved doing Indian beadwork, sewing and studying Native American history.
Condolences may be posted online at www.oconnorfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on May 25, 2010