Shirley (Johnson) Wilczynski was born June 29, 1937, in Choteau, MT to Hazel Robinson and Mandius Johnson. After a long battle with dementia, she passed away peacefully the afternoon of May 15, 2022, surrounded by family.
Shirley grew up on a ranch 12 miles west of Dupuyer and at the age of 12, when her father passed away, she moved to nearby Valier with her mother and older sister, Dorothy. In school Shirley enjoyed being a member of the cheer squad, playing the piano, spending time with close friends and was active in many school organizations.
Shirley attended Montana College (now MSU) in Bozeman where she enjoyed her time in SPURS and the Chi Omega Sorority and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education. She went on to have a 30-year career teaching business education classes at C.M. Russel High School in Great Falls and the Vo-Tech in Helena, until her retirement in 1997. Always wanting to stay busy, Shirley spent 10 years as a Mary Kay consultant after her retirement.
Shirley and her husband, Karl Wilczynski, were married in Great Falls, MT in 1972. The family moved to Helena in 1975 where Karl taught health and physical sciences for 7th and 8th grades at C.R. Anderson Middle School. Shirley and her family enjoyed golfing at Green Meadow Country Club, downhill skiing, boating at the lakes around Helena, and road tripping across the country in the summers. Shirley took pleasure tending to her flower gardens and she particularly enjoyed her travels with Karl to Hawaii, the East Coast during the Fall colors, and on Alaskan and Caribbean cruises.
Shirley was outgoing and loved entertaining and spending time with family and friends. She relished time with her grandsons and enjoyed reading to them and supporting them in their many activities.
Shirley is survived by her son Mark Christiansen (Trayce) of Helena and grandsons Cody (31) and Kyle (30) Wilsonville, OR and Mikenna Gannon (22) Scottsdale, AZ; daughter Tanya Call (Pat) of Helena and grandson Luke (14); niece Kelly (Dan) Swanson; and nephew Mitch (Jenene) Wentworth. She was preceded in death by her husband, Karl, her parents, and sister Dorothy.
Shirley’s family extends their deepest gratitude to her personal caregivers and the staff at Touchmark, as well as the Enhabit Hospice team for their support and care over these past years. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation “In Memory of Shirley Wilczynski” to Cohesion Dance Project or the Alzheimer’s Association Montana Chapter, Montana Chapter (alz.org)
Services will be held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on Wednesday, June 01, 2022, at 1:00 pm with burial at Montana State Veterans Cemetery to follow.