Shirley “Shirl” Jean (Peterson) Sundquist

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Shirley “Shirl” Jean (Peterson) Sundquist

November 8, 1932 – July 22, 2017

Shirley “Shirl” Jean (Peterson) Sundquist, 84, of Great Falls, MT, passed away July 22, 2017, of natural causes at her daughter’s residence. Shirley was born November 8, 1932, in Valley City, ND, the second child of A.I. “Pete” and Ann Hilborn Peterson. She lived in Leal, ND, until age four when her family moved to Worland, WY. Later, the family moved to Glendive, MT, and Cheyenne, WY, before finally settling in Sheridan, WY, in the fall of 1947. Shirley was a member of the Sheridan High School graduating class of 1951. During her time in high school, she was a varsity cheerleader, a Member of Honor Society, a delegate to Wyoming Girls’ State, and Honored Queen of Jobs Daughters Bethel #5. She attended Sheridan College for one year.

It was in high school that she met the love of her life, John Sundquist, Jr. They married on June 12, 1952, at the First United Methodist Church in Sheridan. John had joined the U.S. Navy in 1951, and Shirley followed him through assignments in San Diego and Hawaii.

Shirley worked in the bookstore at the University of Wyoming while John finished his accounting degree. Accepting a position with General Mills as a grain accountant, John moved his family to Great Falls in 1961. After her youngest child started grade school, Shirley embarked on her own goal of obtaining a college degree attending the College of Great Falls where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in math and science education. She then spent the next 19 years teaching math at Great Falls Junior and Senior High Schools. After retirement, Shirley was able to do one of the things she loved the most, traveling with John until his death in 2001 and then later on with her companion, Gerald Nisbet.

Throughout Shirley’s life she achieved many accomplishments and also enjoyed bowling, playing bridge, crocheting, knitting, working crossword puzzles, and watching jeopardy. As her children grew up, she was a Cub Scout and Campfire leader, and later volunteered at United Way. Shirley was also a member of Friendship Chapter Order of the Eastern Star in Sheridan, WY.

Shirley is survived by her daughter, Patricia (Ed) Hughes of Great Falls, MT; sons Gary (Cathy) Sundquist of Black Eagle, MT; Terry (Ruby) Sundquist of Livingston, TX; and Tim Sundquist of Star, ID; sister Judy Musgrave of Decker, MT; brothers A.D. “Pete” Peterson and John (Mary) Peterson all of Sheridan, WY; nine grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, A.I. “Pete” and Ann Peterson, husband John Sundquist, Jr, companion Gerald Nisbet, and grandson Jacob Sundquist.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Benefis Hospice.

A celebration of life will take place at a later date. Condolences may be posted online at and donations may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

By |July 27th, 2017|

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