Shirlene Baumann was born August 25, 1938 in Loma Linda, CA, to Calvin and Jean Parker. She was later joined by younger brother Ronnie and sister Penny. The Parker family moved to Bridger, MT in 1942 where Calvin and Jean raised their children on a sheep and cattle farm. Growing up, Shirlene participated in band, Girl Scouts and FHA. Shirlene went to school with Lanny Baumann who was also raised on a farm north of Bridger and a basketball star on the high school basketball team; a match made in heaven as they became high school sweethearts and were married for half a century. Lanny was an aspiring young cowboy with dreams of owning his own cattle ranch one day and together they made that dream come true.
Lanny and Shirlene were married in August of 1958, and spent nearly 50 years together, raising four children: Brent, Lyle, Laramie, Kelly, and bonus daughter, Hilary Robinson. Their devotion and Lanny’s passion for agriculture and ranching led the family to several different states and one Canadian province. They started out in Havre, Montana where Brent and Lyle were born and then moved to Crawford, Nebraska where Laramie was added to the pack and then moved north to Tomahawk, Alberta, where Kelly was born. The family moved to ranches in Augusta, Stanford and northern Idaho before moving back to Tomahawk, where Lanny managed the sprawling Cormie Ranch and where the two oldest boys spent most of their childhood. After leaving the Cormie Ranch in 1975, they moved south to southern Alberta where Lanny managed the Palmer Ranch.
In 1976, Lanny and Shirlene moved the family back to sagebrush country between Billings and Hardin, Montana, where Lanny managed Leachman Cattle Company. Fulfilling their dream of owning their own cattle ranching outfit, Lanny and Shirlene moved just outside of Hardin, Montana in 1980 and did whatever it took to start a cattle ranching operation for the next 8 years. In 1988 they were offered a deal they couldn’t refuse and wanting to help their sons Lyle and Laramie get started in the cattle ranching business, they turned the ranch over to Lyle and Laramie and moved to Fort Smith, Montana where Lanny established and managed CH Land and Cattle Company for the next 18 years. In 2004, Lanny and Shirlene retired back to Hardin to work with their son Laramie at Baumann Livestock.
Between stitches, broken bones and a few operations, Shirlene spent a lot of time at doctor’s offices trying to keep the three Baumann boys patched up. From chauffeuring the older boys to hockey games in Alberta, to being the favorite camp cook at all the “bush” rodeos Lanny competed in during his Alberta days, as well as brandings, weaning and shipping, Shirlene stayed busy and involved in her family’s life. Lanny and Shirlene enjoyed “curling” during their Alberta days; a sport where participants throw rocks on ice at other rocks and use “brooms” to help the rock speed up or slow down. Lanny and Shirlene both became very accomplished curlers and they had a lot of fun at the curling events because in between events there was a lot of time for socializing and the Canadians knew how to socialize and have fun!
Later in Montana, Shirlene could usually be found in the office at rodeos taking entries and fees, up in the Crow’s nest timing at rodeos alongside Lanny as he announced, warming calves in the bathtub, bottle feeding bum calves which she did up until the time she went into a nursing home, pulling weeds in her gardens, making home-made cookies, pies and pickles, and keeping the books during calving, branding and preg checking. From hockey to rodeo, to wrestling and basketball, she attended every sporting event her kids ever participated in. During the boy’s high school rodeo years, the Baumann camper was always a place where the “strays” got fed and slept on the floor or in the cab of the pickup. She gave haircuts to plenty of cowboys on their way through Hardin because Lanny wasn’t afraid to tell them they needed one. Through it all she never said much, but she was a great mother, supporter of her family and a wonderful wife to Lanny.
Later in life she enjoyed spending time with her kids and grandkids, monthly lunches with Bridger Scout classmates, going to the Senior Citizen Center in Hardin, out walking with beloved dog Howdy, and gathering with others to worship and study the Bible. Mom was one of the friendliest, kindest, most supportive, and hardest working people you could have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Shirlene was preceded in death by her parents, beloved husband Lanny, and infant son Brett. She is survived by her children, Brent (Dina), Lyle, Laramie (Jennifer), Kelly, and Hilary, as well as grandchildren Rebecca, Brittany, Niki, Lane, Trevin, Nic, and her great grand daughters, Estelle and Lucy. Additionally she is survived by her siblings, in laws, numerous nieces and nephews, and beloved dog Howdy.
A celebration of Shirlene’s life will be held at Bridger rodeo grounds on Saturday August 8, 2020 at 10am. The graveside service and inurnment of ashes will immediately follow at the Bridger cemetery, followed by a reception at Fort Rockvale.