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1911 Opal 2009

Opal Bechtol

April 27, 1911 — June 27, 2009

Opal Flora Lathrum was born on April 27, 1911 in St. Charles, Iowa. She was the daughter of Edgar and Retta (Miller) Lathrum. Opal was called from this life on Saturday, June 27, 2009 at the age of 98 years while a resident at the Community Memorial Home in Osakis.
Opal was the oldest of eleven children. She attended grade school through the eighth grade in St. Clarles, Iowa and then went to Ankeny High School in Ankeny, Iowa, where she graduated in 1929. After her graduation Opal went to work in a candy factory. From there she went to Adair, Iowa and worked. It was in Adair that Opal met Russell Bechtol. They got married and she became a farm wife. They had two girls, Lois and Iva Mae. Opal and her husband and girls moved to Lake Crystal, MN in 1942 and lived there for three years working for a farmer. They moved to Osakis in 1945 and bought a farm north of town. When Russell passed away in December of 1985, the Bechtols had been married for 54 years.
Opal was always a busy person. She raised a big garden each year and enjoyed keeping her yard and flowers looking nice. Every spring she looked forward to raising her baby chickens and having fresh farm eggs. She also had roosters, so she could have country fried chicken. Anyone who has eaten at Opal's knew how good they were! She was also known for her homemade noodles and Angel Food cakes. Opal was an awesome cook and you never went away hungry.
Opal was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and belonged to the ladies group and a Bible study. She served the church as Deacon for two years. Opal was also one of the first ladies to belong to the Ladies Nursing Home Auxiliary. Her group was called the Zinnias and they did a lot of sewing quilts and cutting fabric strips. They sewed the strips into long balls in which to make rugs. When Opal left the farm she moved into the Manor Apartments in Osakis and lived there for 18 years. She met a lot of friends there over the years. She enjoyed having coffee and playing cards. From there she moved to the West View Assisted living and after two years moved into the nursing home.
Opal is preceded in death by her husband, her parents,a son-in-law, John Smith, two brothers, Bernal and Charles Lathrum, five sisters, Bernice Ford, Juanita Lowe, Garnita Wade, Charlotte Lathrum and an infant sister, Faye.
Opal is mourned in passing by her daughters, Lois Smith of Dexter, Iowa and Iva Mae (Russell) Hevern of Osakis; 6 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren and 6 great, great grandchildren; a brother, Clark Lathrum and two sisters, Joanna (Bob) Miller and Twila Milligan, all of Des Moines, IA; many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held for Opal on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Osakis with Rev. Tim Sutton officiating. A eulogy was given by Jamie Larsen. Musicians were Ellen Bangtson and Dana Hetland. A lunch was provided by the church women. Interment was at the Pleasant Mound Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers were the members of the Zinnias Auxiliary Group. Active bearers were Chris Larson, Russell James Hevern, LeRoy Zabel, Stan Schultz, David and James Larsen.
Arrangements were with the Roy-Hetland Funeral Home in Osakis, MN.

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