Opal Leona Huber was born on November 26, 1917 at Clarinda, Iowa, the oldest daughter of Ernest and Nellie (Kerns) Huber. Opal grew up in the Gravity-Sharpsburg area and graduated from Sharpsburg high school in 1935. Opal was united in marriage to Vernon Leslie Day on February 16, 1940 in Clearfield, Iowa. To this union seven children were born; Joyce Darlene, Gary Dale, Norman Dean, Carol Jean, Doyle Richard, Gale Lynn and Lyle Vernon. Opal was a stay-at-home wife and mother while her children were growing up and ‘rode herd on her kids!’
Opal always raised a big garden and put up fruits and vegetables for her family. She was famous for pies and cinnamon rolls. You never went away hungry from the house. As soon as you walked in, she had the coffee pot on and one of her pies that was always available cut up and set in front of you. The number of pies and cinnamon rolls cannot be counted.
Opal experienced great losses in her life. Opal and Vernon lost their daughter, Joyce Darlene, at the age of six months to whooping cough. Vernon died in 1975 and six weeks later, her two youngest sons, Gale and Lyle, died in a car-train accident.
After Vernon died in 1975, she went to work at the Taylor County Care Facility as a cook for five years. It was at this time that Opal began writing in her diaries which was unknown to her children until recently. She continued this daily for the next 30 years. Her children believed Opal just stayed at home waiting for company and the kids to come home. After the discovery of the diaries, they thought differently; she never stayed at home! Opal received her driver’s license at the age of 59 and was off and running. Opal detailed in her diary her shopping trips all over southwest Iowa. After a couple of fender-benders, she reluctantly gave up her license at the age of 85; a relief to her kids! Opal remained active until she broke her hip in 2007. She then entered the Bedford Nursing & Rehab Center where she remained until her death on May 30, 2010.
She was preceded in death by her parents Ernest and Nellie Huber; husband Vernon; daughter Joyce; sons Gale and Lyle; great-grandson Justin Love; brother Darrell Huber, and sister Wauneta Craecraft.
Left to mourn her passing are her children Gary Day and wife Gayle of Hildreth, Nebraska, Dean Day and wife Julia of Blue Grass, Iowa, Carol Smith and husband Ernie of Gravity, Iowa, Doyle Day of Red Oak, Iowa; nine grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; sister Helen Volbrecht of Omaha, Nebraska; brothers Duane Huber of Lenox, Iowa, Dale Huber of Creston, Iowa and Cecil Huber of Savannah, Missouri, and nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was a kind and loving woman who never had an unkind word to say about anyone. A memorial fund has been established to the Ronald McDonald House in Omaha, Nebraska. Arrangements were made by Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Cleafield, Iowa.
Funeral services were held on Thursday, June 3 at the Christian Church in Clearfield with Rev. Bob Thompson officiating. Musicians were Becky Nelson and Mary Ellen Spurrier.
Casket bearers were Danny Sump, Mike Yates, Dustin Martin, Mike Shuey, John Hutchens and Duane Day.
Opal was laid to rest in the Clearfield Cemetery at Clearfield, Iowa.