FERTILE - Opal Almelien, age 91 of Fertile, died Saturday, October 3, 2009 at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa in Mason city.
Funeral service will be 2:00 PM on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at Fertile Lutheran Church in Fertile. Burial will be at Elim Cemetery in rural Fertile.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 PM on Monday, October 5th at the funeral home only.
Opal Hougham Almelien was born on March 6, 1918 in Adel, Iowa, the daughter of Zerry J. and Florence (Morse) Hougham. She attended a variety of schools as the family moved from one pastorate to another. Opal graduated from Ogden High School in 1936.
During high school, she completed Normal Training for teachers and soon after began a teaching career that spanned more than thirty years. Opal taught at several Cerro Gordo country schools. On March 2, 1945 she was united in marriage to Edward T. Almelien. The next several years were spent raising her children and helping on the farm.
Opal returned to teaching in 1964 in the Forest City school system, retiring in 1982. Following her teaching career, Opal spent time traveling in the US and Europe. Her greatest joy, however, was her family. "Grandma A" was always present at her grandchildren's events, cheering their accomplishments.
Opal was a woman of faith and spent countless hours teaching Sunday School and leading Bible studies. She was inducted in the Forest City Education Hall of Fame in 2000.
She is survived by her children: Jim (Kathleen) of Washington, Iowa; daughters Becky Butz (Dave) of Clear Lake and Rosemary Almelien of Lake Mills.
Also surviving are nine grandchildren: Andrew (Shannon) Almelien; Erin Almelien; John (Laurie) Butz; Sara (Shawn) Puttmann; Joel Butz; Isaac (Karen) Almelien; Abbey Almelien; Evan (Carolyn) Almelien and Anna Almelien.
Opal also had eight great-grandchildren: Kaitlyn, Ben, Avery, Jacob, Jordyn, Owen, Alex and Ezra.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Edward in 1975, her son Ron in 2000, two brothers, Raymond and Russell and a sister, Ruby Taylor.
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