Bessie Opal Cothern Chambers

Opal Chambers died on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at Regent Care Center in League City, Texas. She was 91 years old. Opal was born on January 21, 1922 in Washington Parish, Louisiana. She was preceded in death by her parents and six of her seven siblings as well as her husband, William McWillie Chambers, Jr. She is survived by her children, Alice Chambers Wygant of Galveston, Texas and William McWillie Chambers, III of Catskill, New York, and her sister, Mary Bohn of Brookhaven, Mississippi. In addition, Opal was beloved aunt to numerous nieces, nephews, and their children. Opal graduated from Bogalusa High School in Bogalusa, Louisiana in 1939 and the Elizabeth Sullivan School of Nursing in Bogalusa in 1946. She worked as a registered nurse at the Clinton Infirmary in Clinton, Louisiana from 1946 to 1985. During her tenure there she had many duties including operating room nurse, x-ray and lab technician, director of nursing and hospital administrator. Countless patients and their families remember the high standard of nursing care she provided and the high standards she required of all those who worked with her. She worked with Dr. Clovis Toler for 39 years serving the Clinton community. After her retirement, she remained in Clinton to pursue a life-long interest in art through classes at Louisiana State University. She also revived her interest in quilting, which she learned from her mother, and took an active role in the Quiltaholics Quilt Guild. Both of these hobbies produced many beautiful works of art which today grace the homes of her family and friends. She was an artist in the kitchen, too. Her gumbo, fried fish, and white fruit cake were justifiably famous. In addition, many have fond memories of her wonderful biscuits, jellies, and French Market donuts. In 1994, Opal moved to Galveston where she established a new circle of friends and fellow-quilters. She took art classes at Galveston College and joined the Island Quilt Guild. She loved island life, especially the favorable climate for gardening. After a series of health problems, she moved first to live with her daughter and then to Regent Care Center. With each of her moves, she rarely complained and worked hard to make a good life wherever she lived. Opal was fun and always ready for an adventure with her loved ones. She was fiercely loyal to her family and friends and always ready to help. She had a generous spirit combined with a strong streak of common sense and practicality. She never minced a word in all of her 91 years and could always be relied on for an honest opinion. Those she left behind will always remember her as a devoted sister, a loving mother, a great aunt, a caring nurse, and a good friend. Opal lived for many years in Clinton, Louisiana and Galveston, Texas and a celebration of life will be held in both places at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a scholarship in Opal's name at the University of St. Thomas at the following address: University of St. Thomas Nursing Scholarship Fund, University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX 77006-4626 or to the .

Published in TheAdvocate.com from Nov. 19 to Nov. 20, 2013