OPAL MARIE WILLIAMS
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Age 97, of Redlands, CA completed her journey of nearly a century on March 31, 2014. Opal was born on June 14, 1916 on a farm near Amsterdam, Missouri, one of four children of John and Cecil Williams. She grew up in South Dakota and attended country schools, including high schools in Springfield and Avon, where she graduated in 1935.
In 1941, the family moved to a farm near Charles City, IA where Opal married Floyd Hamilton. She and Floyd moved to Minneapolis where she spent many years as a working mother managing the deli at Stillman's Grocery and being an active member of the First Christian Church. She and her husband moved in 1958 to Ogden, UT where she lived for more than a decade, working in customer service at the Bon Marche Department Store. She and Floyd were also active members of First Christian Church in Odgen. A job transfer resulted in a move to Van Nuys, CA, where both worked at Marquardt Aircraft and were active in the Central Christian Church of Van Nuys until a sudden illness forced an early retirement for Floyd. Opal continued to work at the company until she retired to care for her husband, who died in June of 1976. In 1980, Opal married Harold Inman, combined their single households and moved to Lake Elizabeth, CA where they joined First Christian Church of Lancaster.
After Harold became ill, Opal cared for him until his death, then moved to Redlands in 1995, where she lived in the Braemar Cooperative Apartments. She became active in State Street Christian Church until the congregation closed. Opal moved her membership to Redlands United Church of Christ and took on many leadership roles through the years, including organizing the annual rummage sale.
Through the years, Opal was known for her pies, cookies and candy making, along with other culinary achievements, which she shared liberally at church events. She also quilted and was best known in her later years for her beaded holiday crafts. She never missed the "Art for Heaven's Sake" show until an auto accident left her wheelchair bound and required a move to Asistencia Villa. Here she lived the last two years of her life and continued her beading.
Opal is survived by her only son, Milan Hamilton and daughter-in-law Linda of Redlands, one sister Thelma Paine of Minneapolis, MN, granddaughter Leslea Sullivan of Minneapolis, grandson Robbin Hamilton of Riverside, CA, numerous nieces and nephews, great-grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and many she considers her adopted children and grandchildren. Opal will be interred in Chatsworth, CA at Oakwood Memorial Park with her first husband, Floyd. A memorial service will be held at Redlands United Church of Christ, Olive Avenue and Bellevue, Redlands on Thursday, April 10th at 11:00 a.m. with a lunch and fellowship time following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Opal's memory to the Redlands United Church of Christ, 168 Bellevue Ave., Redlands, CA 92373. Condolences may be sent to the church.
Published in Redlands Daily Facts on Apr. 6, 2014