Opal Lorene Rice Goodale, first child of Douglas and Minnie (Minnick) Rice, was born May 14, 1917 near Ellston, Iowa. She went to be with her Lord and Savior on August 23, 2010; angels carrying her home to rest in peace free of pain and suffering. At the time of her passing she was residing with daughter Shelly Cook in Creston, Iowa.
Most of Opal’s life was spent in the Diagonal and Mount Ayr area with the exception of two years spent in Brush, Colorado due to her asthma. Opal attended three country schools in Ringgold county and graduated from Diagonal high school in May 1936. She attended her 74th alumni banquet this past May in Diagonal.
Opal was united in marriage to W.A. Goodale on May 22, 1936 at the Methodist parsonage in Mount Ayr, Iowa. The couple had three children, Linda, Vicki and Rochelle (Shelly).
Opal and Bill bought a 120-acre farm eight miles northwest of Diagonal in 1940 where they engaged in general farming with a small dairy until Bill’s health declined. She was still residing on that farm until her health declined in June of this year. She always had a large vegetable garden. She did canning and preserving of food for family, even after they were grown. She was generous and shared the bounty with others in need — sometimes even preparing the food for the freezer before presenting it to the receiver. Opal was also a seamstress. She did mending and sewing for her family and others. She was meticulous in this endeavor as her daughters can attest.
In addition to being a farm wife, Opal worked for five years as head cook at the Clearfield school lunch room in the early 1970s. Her delicious cinnamon rolls were a big hit with students there. Following that, she worked as a day cook at Clearview Home in Clearfield for a little over two years. Her pancakes and liver and onions brought her notoriety there.
Mrs. Goodale was baptized and taken into membership of the Calvary Church of rural Clearfield on April 4, 1948. She later transferred her membership to the Diagonal United Methodist Church in 1952. Opal was active in church work serving on various boards over the years. She was always prepared for the annual church harvest sale with gooseberry pies, cinnamon rolls and black walnuts. She especially enjoyed her quilting circle and sewing school bags for the mission project.
Bill and Opal celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May 1986 at the Diagonal United Methodist Church with many guests attending. They were married 58 years before Bill passed away on August 2, 1994. Opal continued to enjoy visiting friends, relatives and neighbors in local nursing homes. She was noted for her many get well cards and letters to anyone she heard of who was under the weather. She was always ready to lend a helping hand and believed her letters helped lighten the burden on the receivers.
Opal’s family was her pride and joy. She especially adored her grandchildren and enjoyed reading to them when they were small. She was always interested in their projects and would do anything to help. She fought off her health issues and hung in there awaiting the arrival of great-granddaughter Haileigh Opal Kristene Lundy on August 4, 2010. How she smiled when she got to hold that new baby! She smiled when she held all of them!
Opal is survived by her daughters, Linda Simcoke (Patrick) Maley of Saint Petersburg, Florida, Vicki (Melvin) Derry of Des Moines, Iowa and Shelly (John) Cook of Creston, Iowa; a brother, Lewis (Peggy) Rice of Lenox, Iowa; sisters, Charlotte (Dwight) Cunning of Mount Ayr, Iowa, Betty Brooks of Kennewick, Washington and Jorene (Bill) Blevins of Springfield, Missouri; 10 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Opal was preceded in death by her parents and parents-in-law; loving husband, Bill; infant grandson, Eric Derry; granddaughter, Sonja Simcoke; brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Sadie Rice; son-in-law, Richard Simcoke, and brother-in-law, Max Brooks.
Memorials are to the United Church of Diagonal and Feed The Children Foundation. Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Diagonal was in charge of the arrangements.
Services were conducted at the United Church of Diagonal, Diagonal on Thursday, August 26, 2010, with Rev. Bruce Giese and Rev. Eydie Stephens officiating. Musicians were Judy Newton and Sherry Wiley.
Honorary pallbearers included Jason Cook, Brian Derry, Patrick Derry, Greg Derry, Chad Derry and David Simcoke.
Opal was laid at rest in the Diagonal Cemetery, Diagonal.