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Opal MUNN


1922 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Opal MUNN Obituary
MUNN, Opal Halwes Opal Halwes Munn was born in Dewitt Arkansas on Christmas Day in 1922 to a German tenant rice farmer and Cajun mother. One of her most vivid childhood memories was of hoboes who would jump off the train and walk to their home nearby for handouts during the depression. While they never had much she said they always had eggs, rice and milk. As a teenager she pursued her interest in music, playing oboe in the band and learning how to play her father's violin. Her happiest moments were spent rehearsing and performing with the band as the drum major. She wanted to be an English teacher because she loved words and was a natural at grammar, however her college days were cut short due to a two year drought on the farm and WWII. Her parents left for the west coast to find work picking berries until her father became employed for the war effort as a machinist. She left Arkansas to get a job as a secretary in Evansville IN where she was helped by another member of the Halwes family. It was at a USO dance in Evansville where she was volunteering that she met her husband to be 2nd Lieutenant Art Munn. The happy couple was married in New Orleans on January 3, 1945 and went immediately to his assignment in San Francisco. Their first home was furnished with wooden boxes and linens that they retrieved from the Navy Pier in San Francisco after the war. In 1946 they moved to her husband Art's home town of Atlanta GA began their family of three children. Here their life centered around activities at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church. The whole family participated in the music program and the parents belonged to the Clarion Class for young adults where they made life-long friends. In 1955 the family moved to Cartersville GA where Art joined his brother in the family business, Munn's Inc. While this family of five struggled to make ends meet with a new business in the post war economy, Opal started saving one penny at a time to help secure the family future. Her determination to make a good life and help her husband led her to organic gardening - convincing the City of Cartersville to send free truck loads of leaves every fall to help mulch her ever expanding plot of clay soil in the back yard. While she always declared that her main job was taking care of the home and family she became interested in civic work, especially through the Cartersville Women's Club. Her interest in conservation inspired her to start the paper recycling effort that was called "Paper Power." The Munn family continued their affiliation with the church at First Presbyterian of Cartersville where she and Art sang in the choir. She also worked with the Girl Scout organization as a mentor and volunteer leader. She helped girls learn how to camp and appreciate nature. Opal and Art expected their children to go to college, supporting and encouraging them without fail. Opal provided healthy meals from her garden and she and Art treated their two girls and one boy with equal respect saying that they could "be whatever they wanted to be." At daily family dinners the children were nourished in all respects. Opal loved to travel and made arrangements for exploring the United States with the family. Once the children were securely involved in their own adult lives she and Art pursued family history traveling in Europe. She became known for her passion for bridge, playing until just two weeks before she passed away even though her short term memory was hampered by dementia. She loved her bridge buddies but would just smile when they tried to rehash a hand saying, "that was then, this is now." In fact, she became quite adept at living in the moment, her own coping mechanism for dealing with her dementia. Her other interests were reading, knitting, and keeping up with her 4 grandchildren. Opal maintained their family home on Cherokee Circle until aging and health issues required that they move to a safer environment in Cartersville. Finally, to be closer to their daughter Missy, a retired registered nurse, they moved to Charlotte. She is survived by her three children: Suzanne Munn Shull of Atlanta, Missy Munn Thomas of Charlotte, Bill Munn (and Darlene) of Bonaire GA; four grandchildren: Aaron Munn (and Kelly) of Warner Robins, Jennifer Flanders (and Jonathan) of Charlotte, Jonathan Munn (and Jordan) of Manassas VA, and Christopher Munn of Atlanta. She also has 6 great granddaughters. On Saturday, December 9, in Cartersville GA there will be a short visitation at Owen Funeral Home at 3:00 followed by a family led graveside service at Sunset Memory Gardens at 4:00. Opal's wish was that all memorial contributions be given to support the Etowah Scholarship Foundation in Cartersville where she and Art established a Munn Family scholarship in perpetuity.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Dec. 7, 2017
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