Janet sent this great photo of Opal Bents during one of Opal's adventures with her sister, Georgia, and Georgia's daughter Barbara and granddaughter April and Keven and Kyle; Opal's brother, Albert, her nieces Joy and Fred and Janet and John and brother-in-law Lowell Miller; daughter, Marji Smith; it has been said that "Aunt Opal" was the center of attention! This photo delightfully shows her wearing purple and surrounded by the people she loved so very much! It must have been a fun time and none of us recall any consequences from the flop on the grass!
Bill read this Mother's Day Card to his mom in 2013. She understood his words, his intention, and his expression of love.
There's only one you, Mother. That's for sure. No one else could ever fill your shoes. Even now that I'm grown, there are certain times when only my mother will do. I've discovered over the years that no matter how independent I am, I'll never outgrow my need for your smile, your hug, and your warmhearted ways. I will always need you, always love you, and always be grateful for the wonderful woman you are - my mother.
Thank you for being an outstanding "MOM" and all the things you have done for me over the years. Love, Bill
From April 16, 2013
Dear Aunt Opal,
Dorothy and I want you to know we think of you often. We pray for you each day.
We remember the good times we have had together. You were always there when we needed you.
We also remember the good noodles and goulash you shared with us.
Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV) I have loved you with an everlasting love.
May God bless and keep you through all of your cares ... you're much on my mind, in my heart and my prayers.
Love, Marge and Dorothy
Was happy to hear from you. We got a thank you from Terry, that was sent to Irene Day, for the Senior Meals' gift of flowers for Aunt Opal's Memorial Service. We all read it and appreciated the thanks. We all thought Aunt Opal would of enjoyed the Spring flowers pattern, as she always enjoyed the flowers in Spring and Summer.
It's still hard to see her apartment empty. ...
Aunt Opal and I used to go to the Salvation Army store in Mason City. We had so much fun. We had so many good laughs. I will always have my happy memories of her.
I still get a laugh thinking of you kissing Aunt Opal's tree - my first experience seeing that! That can be a happy memory or a sad one. I prefer to think of it as a happy one! (Glenna's note: "Me, too." That tree always brought a lot of happiness to Opal, as well as the rest of us who enjoyed watching it grow through the many years she lived at Townview Court. The rocks around its trunk were gathered and place there by a younger Opal; it was her way to help the lawnmower to keep from running over it!) God's Blessings Always, Love, Carol (cousin)
Thank you so much for the funeral leaflet. It will be a part of my scrapbook. I just got back from smoky Colorado - sure wish I could have taken some of our moisture along. I took Victor's ashes out there - we were there about 50 years and loved the area, but it was getting too crowded. It was so thoughtful of you. Hope Opal and Victor run into each other.
David Colston, Church Discipleship Ministry, Georgia
Let's fast forward to the end of your life. You're aware that this is your last day on earth and are fortunate enough to have those you love by your side. No one needs to remind you that you have limited time with them. So what would you say?
Now let's rewind to some of Jesus' last words. Jesus said, “Go make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). He said these words to His disciples just before He ascended into heaven. Their model was clear, for He had just spent the past three-and-a-half years discipling them. He was telling them to go pour into others' hearts what He had poured into theirs, doing it the way He did it with them—life on life, shoulder to shoulder, nose to nose. How important should these last words be to us, His followers today? We should hold these words in our hearts as Jesus held them in His.
How significant are the words, “Go make disciples,” to you? Enough that they are demonstrated through your life? Do you make key decisions in light of these words? Or do you need to adjust the way you live in response to these words? Take a moment and imagine what your life might look like if you did exactly as Jesus said and made disciples the way Jesus did.
Our Father which are in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. They kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
I always loved Opal, but didn't get to be with her much. But she was a loving cousin, and I'll be 96 in October. I love the Lord and pray a lot for lots of people. Also, ask God to guide my life and keep me in as good health as now as I can go and do anything I like and can still drive. I like to see what will happen in the next few years.
Jeremy David Bents and Opal Louise (Wood) Bents. One Mother's Day when Jeremy and Katie had the Bents and Sparks grandmothers in their home. Sweet memory.
May 29, 2013 via text message to Bill and Glenna:
So sad for your loss. I know she has been promoted. You are able to enjoy wonderful memories with friends and family, but you still have a huge emptiness. Again, so sorry. Love to you all.
Your mother was a special person.
I always enjoyed helping her with special things.
She was a real inspiration to all of us.
My prayers are with you.
May the Holy Spirit strengthen you and give you peace.
He shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you forever ... John 14:16
So saddened to hear about your mother, Bill. Thankful that you will see her in Glory someday!
A Message of Comfort from Christian Inspirations and written by (Canon) Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918):
Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me; Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort; without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out sight? I am but waiting for you; for an interval somewhere very near; just around the corner. All is well.
And I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:3
It's hard to let go and say goodbye.
Dear Friends, I have surely enjoyed Opal for many, many years. She loved to come to my garage sales the night before. Have missed her already.
Glenna's note: Helene is the jam maker in Opal's life; whenever we opened Mom's refrigerator there was strawberry or raspberry jam waiting to be shared on our toast. I confess that I am still enjoying the fruit of her labor this month of June 2013! Thank you, Mom, for sharing your friends with your family!
"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid ... He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
"I was given a Gideon New Testament in my country. My four friends wanted to read it, too. We carefully cut apart the Gospels and shared them with each other. All five of us were saved through that one New Testament."
Opal and Anna Schwab were sweet friends and sharer of God's Word through their Gideon-Placed Bibles.
"Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Isaiah 53:4
My "special friend" -- Though she was twenty years older than me, she came to see if I was OK. Who, but Opal, would do that?? I will always miss her! Beulah Hearn
We are so sorry to hear about your Mom's passing. What a long life she had. She saw and experienced many things in her lifetime.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.
In Christ's Love, Your Friends and families at First Evangelical Free Church
Max Lucado quote is from his book, "When Christ Comes." We don't like to say good-bye to those whom we love. It is right for us to weep, but there is no need for despair. They had pain here. They have no pain there. They struggled here. They have no struggles there. You and I might wonder why God took them home. But they don't. They are, at this very moment, at peace in the presence of God.
God said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
We hold many wonderful memories of your mother and grandmother. May her faith and love for helping others live in all of us. Glenn and Pam
"Opal was such a good friend. She helped make my move to Dumont so much easier. She was so good to my husband, too. He has passed on now. I hope they meet.
She will be missed so much around here. I am so sorry I was not closer to her the last two years or so. May God continue to watch over her. Much love, from Margaret Bohls"
From American Greetings: "Life is a journey of sweetness and sorrow, of yesterday's memories and hopes for tomorrow, of pathways we choose and detours we face with patience and humor, courage and grace, of joys that we've shared and of people we've met who have touched us in ways we will never forget." --- and always miss them. Love, Dave and Pam
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." I Corinthians 13:12 KJV
"... you were so fortunate to have such a wonderful role model in your life." Sincerely, Jim and Jean
Over many weeks of time and events, Opal and Jean and Glenna, were enchanted with the following quote given to us along life's way: "Life comes to me with ease, joy, and glory through Jesus Christ." May those words continue to guide each of our lives!
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. Galatians 5:22
Our prayers are with you as God gives you comfort and hope in this time of sorrow. Rich and Darlene
May our Lord Jesus Christ... and God our Father... comfort your hearts. 2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17 RSV
... She was such a sweet little lady. I remember her serving lunches at school way back when! Then all of her volunteer work in her later years made her a saint - she did so much for so many people and organizations. She will be missed by so many people. Remember the good times! John and Donna
... [Opal] was a darling. I am so glad she was on my bus trips. She was a joy!! God bless you and your family. Dick and Sharon
Terry, Marilyn, Amy -
We were sorry to hear of your loss. Reading about Opal's life was an amazing story. She will be missed by many. We send our prayers your way. Pat
John 14:18 KJV "'I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.'"
We are sorry to hear of the loss of your mother, Terry, but how wonderful to have lived almost 100 years! Thinking of you. Eugene and Mardell
We are so glad we were able to see Aunt Opal recently. She will be lovingly thought of and greatly missed. Billy and Carol
A life well-lived is a life remembered with love. Someone who meant so much will live on in so many loving memories. Connections from Hallmark
[Opal] was a very special person to me and I will miss her on my trips to Iowa. ...
June 3, 2013 My thoughts and prayers are with you all on this most difficult day. I know you have arranged a beautiful and fitting service for Aunt Opal, and I wish I could have been there to participate. Hopefully you will find peace and comfort knowing that she is in heaven and that each day will be better than the one before. May your sorrows of today soon become memories of happier times. God's Blessings to all. Sincerely,
May 30, 2013
A keepsake video of Opal's life has been created to share with her family. Our thanks to Glenna's associates for making this tribute possible. They share their love and concern with all the Bents Family. www.dignitymemorial.com/stevens-memorial-chapel/
May 28, 2013
Remember Opal's smile! There were friends among us who talked with Mom Bents about her smile. Whenever days were rough from the years of aging, Mom could be known to say, "I don't want to lose my smile," or "I've lost my smile," or "Help me find my smile." She had a smile in her heart even when a smile on her lips was too difficult to share. I will remember her smile, her love for so many people, and the determination and blessings it takes for a heart to beat about life through the grace of Jesus Christ. I can just imagine what a wonderful smile your soul is sharing in eternity!
I will always remember her sweetness. Spent a few hours with her is her time here on earth. She will be so missed by all of you and with peace you will celebrate her life knowing she is with the Lord. May he bless you all with warmth and love.
May 29, 2013
Opal shared the greatest stories about her childhood and life in the Walter and Emma Wood family. I am going to miss our card and letter exchanges .... she loved to send and receive cards and letters.
May 29, 2013
Love Mrs. Bents' Pumpkin Bread recipe...always yummy! Mrs. Bents was a pretty lady...I don't think I ever saw her having a "bad" hair day!
May 30, 2013
Psalm 139: 13-16 For it was YOU [God] who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful and I know this well. 15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.
Jun 1, 2013
what a wonderful ltribute to a family member. Glenna only you could compose such a wonderful tribute. glad I had the chance to read. j
May 31, 2013
Our condolences to Billy, his family, siblings and relatives. I remember starting school with Billy in the first grade. I left Dumont in 6th grade and finished in Aplington. I often think of those that I went to school with in Dumont. Many happy memories!!
May 31, 2013
I am thinking back YEARS to my elementary school days and I remember Opal as the "Faithful Lunch Lady"! :)
Jun 4, 2013
We met Opal Bents through my wifes passion for Geneology. We visited her in Dumont around 2003. We were so impressed with her abilities at her age, and for all she had done for her community as a volunteer. We kept in touch with her and will miss her. She is in a good place now with her lord. My Mother N. Ellen Griffin and Opal played togeather as children near Elmer, Missouri. Her parents were Israel and Nancy Wood. The letter we received from Glenna I believe was a wonderful tribute to Opal.....
Opal was my father's first cousin, though they never met. That made us first cousins once removed; considered quite close in genealogical circles. We got acquainted in 1999 and I visited several times. Most notable was the week Opal and Glenna and I spent putting together the Wood book, in 2009. We had a lovely time, got a lot accomplished, and took a picture of Opal with the oil lamp she inherited from her grandparents. My favorite vision from that week is of Opal CROUCHING under the table to retrieve something...she was a very spry 97 years young!! She loved to talk about the family history and could tell stories from her person experience that dated back to before the Great Depression! I saw her as my Wood family matriarch and feel privileged to have known her. Pam Saba
I was so very sad to hear of Opal's passing. She was such a dear, sweet lady and I will never forget her! In my office, I have her picture on my wall and her thank you cards on my bulletin board...truly near and dear to my heart!! I hope everyone is doing as well as possible during this difficult time and certainly hope that all of the wonderful memories of Opal bring you and yours comfort. Take care! Barb Weigel
Your family is in my prayers. From the stories I heard it seems that Opal lived a long beautiful life and was able to share it with many people especially with her family. May God be with you at this time.
Although I didn't directly work with Opal, I know that she took her volunteerism very seriously. I recall my mother always telling about Opal who was organizing the Meals for the elderly in town. Her dedication to this service will be greatly missed. One can learn a great deal from following in her footsteps.