OPAL M. FORD BARRON was born on January 17, 1924 to William and Margaret (Axelson) Yackley in rural Rock County, Minnesota. She attended School District 75 and graduated from Luverne High School, Luverne, Minnesota, in 1942. Opal was very active in 4-H becoming the Minnesota State President in 1942. Opal was united in marriage to Louis Eldon Ford on October 22, 1943 at the First Presbyterian Church in Beaver Creek, Minnesota. The couple lived in Miami, Florida from 1943 to 1945 while Eldon was in military service. In 1945, they moved to a farm in Gray Township, Pipestone County, Minnesota where they made their home and raised their six children. Eldon preceded her in death in November of 1973. Opal continued to live on the family farm until she married Meredith Barron on April 1, 1989. After their marriage, Opal moved to Meredith’s farm in rural Moody County, South Dakota. In 2013, the couple moved into the Edgewood Senior Living facility in Flandreau, South Dakota. Meredith preceded her in death on June 28, 2017. Opal became a resident at the Good Samaritan Communities in Pipestone, Minnesota in September of 2021, where on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, she died peacefully at the age of 98 years young.
Opal was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Pipestone, Minnesota where she taught Sunday School. Throughout her life she was a homemaker and artist. Opal had a great love for china painting. Opal traveled around the country for china painting lesson’s and teaching various students throughout her painting career. Opal traveled the tri-state area attending craft shows where she sold her china. She was a member of the World Organization of China Painters and the International China Painters Organization. Opal retired from china painting due to macular degeneration. In addition, she enjoyed dancing at the Hollyhock Ballroom on Sunday nights, traveling with her husband Meredith to many states and Europe, flower gardening and she was an avid bird watcher.
Opal is lovingly remembered by her children, David (Candice) Ford, Stratford, Wisconsin, James (Coleen) Ford, Ankeny, Iowa, Rebecca (Michael) Sigmond, Pipestone, Jerome (Martha) Ford, Zeeland, Michigan, Clayton (Geraldine) Ford, Greenville, New York, George (Cynthia) Ford, Sherburn, Minnesota; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. Meredith’s children, Larry (Twila) Barron and Linda (Mike) Wagner. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Eldon Ford; second husband, Meredith; parents, William and Margaret Yackley; sister, Margorie Claussen and brothers, Vincent, Adrian and Leo.
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