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LANDER, Wyo. — Shirley Elizabeth (Wilson) Rector, 91, of Lander, Wyo., quietly passed away to glory on the morning of July 1, 2021, at home at the age of 91.

She was born the eighth of nine children, to parents Fount Logan and Eva Lena (Hammond) Wilson, on May 22, 1930, in Armstrong.

"The family soon moved to a rural home just south of Urbana, Il. Later they moved to town and she attended Lincoln Grade School, Thornburn Jr. High and Urbana HS where she enjoyed a very active four years, graduating in 1948. After HS graduation she became employed by the University of Illinois working for the Dean of Engineering. It was there she met engineering student, Robert (Bob) Harper Rector, son of Theodore J and Edith H Rector, of Smithfield, Il. They became engaged and were wed July 27, 1950 in Wichita Falls,TX. [They were married for 69 years until Bob's death in 2019]. With a degree in mechanical engineering Bob had a long and successful career in the oil industry. In their life together between 1950 and 2019, Bob and Shirl lived in eight states. Bob's job with Amoco International also took them to Iran, Egypt, and England over almost ten years. They moved house 34 times. Shirley was called Betty most of her life until 1970 in Ashland, KY where she became Elizabeth. That became too long to sign art projects so Liz was born. For a short time Beth hung around (on the golf course), but in 1990 Shirl took over and stuck! She was a Gemini, what else?"

Shirley was a loving, thoughtful and caring mother and great-grandmother. She was always looking forward to the next adventure, wherever it took her, including Las Vegas for her 91st birthday! She loved the outdoors and planting flowers every spring. She had the gift of hospitality and hosted more backyard and Christmas parties than most. Shirley had flare and style for every occasion but was always generous and the best of friends to those who knew her. And she had many. Her leadership skills were sought after, and she was a go-getter for any show or task. She was a homemaker, an avid and trophy-winning golfer, an accomplished oil painter and talented crafter, hospice and Meals on Wheels volunteer, supporter of orphaned Native American children, and a loyal Republican.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents and eight siblings, Vivian Adele Harmon, John Nicholas, Geneva Christine Apperson, Leonard Logan, Dale Hammond, Willis Delbert, Harold Eugene and Beverly May Kamerer.

She is survived by her two children, Susan Carol (David Handy) of Lewistown and Dr. Phillip Kent (Jayson Calpe) Rector of Lander. She is also survived by two grandchildren, Gabe Handy of Orlando, Fla., and Eva Moring of Astoria, Ore.; and six great-grandchildren. 

The rite of cremation took place July 2 by Hudson Funeral Home, Lander. A life celebration in Wyoming will be held in spring 2022.

Memorials may be made to Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church, Casper, Wyo., or to any Native American children’s fund.

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