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Opal's Story

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Opal Marie Benson, 91, of Oskaloosa, died Saturday, October 21, 2017, at the
Sunnybrook Nursing Home in Fairfield. She was born April 18, 1926, in Stahl, Missouri, the daughter of Clem and Dollie (Chrisman) Walker. She attended school at Green City, Missouri. Following school, Opal moved to Mason City, Iowa, to live with her aunt. She worked at a company that made ice boxes while living there. It was while living in Mason City she met the love of her life, Melvin Benson. On March 24, 1946, the two of them were united in marriage at Novinger, Missouri. Following their marriage, they moved to a farm near Green City, Missouri. Opal stayed home to help Melvin on the farm, and raise her family. They later moved off the farm and moved to Ottumwa, Iowa. Opal worked for Warehouse Market and later for Segals Furniture while living in Ottumwa. In 1977, they moved to Oskaloosa. The two of them owned and operated Benson Economy Oil for many years, where Opal operated the lunch counter and helped Melvin with running the business. On January 27, 1996, Melvin died. Opal was a member of the First Presbyterian Church where she was active with the Sociable Stitches quilting group, Wednesday Night Live, and Vacation Bible School. She enjoyed volunteering at Share Iowa and the Ecumenical Cupboard. She loved gardening, canning, sewing and making clothes. She also enjoyed going to Curves exercise group. She cherished the time she spent with her family especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She is survived by her three daughters: Judy (& Orval) Stuckemeyer of Bradenton, Florida, Joyce (& Marvin) Roemen of Fairfield and Jennifer (& Robert) Watkins of Des Moines; 9 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; and one great great granddaughter.
Opal was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a daughter: Janet Smith; a great granddaughter: Victoria Stuckemeyer; two sons-in-law: Roger Smith and Gregory Nichols; and two brothers: Loren and Leon Walker.
Funeral services will be held Friday, October 27, 2017, at 11 A.M. in the First Presbyterian Church in Oskaloosa with Reverend Don Stribling officiating. Burial will be in Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa. The Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Visitation will begin Thursday, October 26, 2017 after 9 A.M. in the Bates Funeral Chapel in Oskaloosa and the family will be at the funeral chapel Thursday evening from 6 8 to greet friends and relatives. Memorials may be to the First Presbyterian Church or to Compassus Hospice.
Published on October 23, 2017
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