Archive for Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Obituary: Minnie Opal Wilson


August 29, 2007

Services for Minnie Opal Wilson, 95, were Aug. 18, at Alden-Harrington Funeral Home in Bonner Springs.

Burial was at Mt. Sidney Cemetery near Linwood.

Mrs. Wilson died Aug. 15, 2007, at Eudora Nursing Center.

She was born March 8, 1912, in the Burkett district near Hamilton, one of 15 children of John and Frances Laffoon Cummins.

She attended elementary school in Evona, Mo., and high school in Albany, Mo.

The family moved back to Hamilton and she graduated from Hamilton Rural High School in 1929.

Mrs. Wilson was baptized into the Catholic Church in Norton in 1931. She moved to Linwood in 1932 and became a member of the Sacred Heart Parish in Tonganoxie. She came to Linwood as a domestic employee of the Levi Phinney family, for whom she had worked in Norton.

On Nov. 2, 1935, she married Harry Henderson Wilson of Linwood in the rectory at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Topeka. He died Feb. 22, 1974.

The couple lived on farms west of Linwood and in 1941 moved to the home where Opal lived until she was 93, except for a time in the 1980s when she had an upholstery shop in Mullinville.

During World War II, Opal worked at Sunflower for the Hercules Powder Co., first packing C-rations, then on the powder line, then in the cafeteria. Other employment included work for the Nat Nast shirt factory in Bonner Springs and Allied Storage at Loring. She contracted for upholstery both in her home at Linwood and at the shop in Mullinville. For several years she enjoyed selling Avon Products.

Mrs. Wilson was an accomplished seamstress, making clothes for her family and sewing for other people. She also was an avid quilter, as she also taught others to quilt.

In 1995, Mrs. Wilson was honored by the Linwood community for her years of community service, as she received the Ovid Snider Award. Her community service included time as president of the Linwood Library Club when she led the campaign to raise funds, purchase land and build a building. The award also noted her role in organizing the Linwood Rural High School Alumni Association and her active leadership in the Deadwood Beavers 4-H club. In 1943, Opal was trained and certified for Red Cross Home Nursing and First Aid. She later taught Red Cross classes in Linwood, Lawrence, Bonner Springs, Tonganoxie and at Haskell Institute.

She was a 1964 charter member of the Ladies Auxiliary 3119 Eagles Lodge in Bonner Springs and was a member of the Rebecca Lodge in Lawrence.

Survivors include two sons, James Wilson, Athens, Ga., and Harvey Wilson, Linwood; five grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren, seven stepgreat-grandchildren and eight stepgreat-great-grandchildren.

Blake Buckler, a great-great-grandson, preceded her in death.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Linwood Library or the Sacred Heart Catholic Church building fund in Tonganoxie. Both may be sent in care of Alden-Harrington Funeral Home, 214 Oak St., Bonner Springs 66012; (913) 422-4074.

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