Opal Jean Carlson
1924 - 2021

Opal Jean Carlson

Opal Jean (McFall, Horton) Carlson passed away peacefully at home on April 27, 2021 at the age of 97.

Opal Jean was born to Dr. James Oakley McFall and Ruth Marie (Catt) on March 7, 1924 in Flasher, North Dakota. She grew up attending the Flasher public schools, graduating in 1942. It was here she began her lifelong love of dancing.

On Oct. 28, 1943 Opal Jean married her high school sweetheart Leland Horton in Tacoma, Washington. To this union was born a son, Richard Lee Horton, and a daughter Sharon Eileen Horton.

They made their home in Bismarck, North Dakota. She worked at J.C. Penney, the North Dakota National Guard for 12 years, and finally as the manager of the Carousel Snack Bar and Great Hot Dog Experience in the Kirkwood Mall for 18 years. She retired on May 25, 1989.

Opal Jean and Leland were lifelong charter members of the Congregational Christian Church now called the United Church of Christ in Bismarck until Leland's death in 1988. She remained a member.

During her lifetime Opal Jean participated in the local bowling league for 20 years, winning many trophies. Her favorite hobby was ceramics, adorning her own home and that of many others with handmade ceramic decorations. She also was a member of the Bismarck Business and Professional Women's Club for 25 years where she served as president and various other offices. After retirement she returned to her love of dancing and participated with the Capital City Cloggers in performances throughout the state. The highlight of this experience was dancing on the capitol grounds during the North Dakota Centennial Celebrations in 1989.

On Nov. 3, 1990 Opal Jean married Leo Wayne Carlson of Washburn, North Dakota. The couple made their home in Washburn where they were very active in the Soil Conservation, the local church and square dance clubs. She also served as president of the Washburn Study Club. Leo passed away on Oct. 26, 2001.

In 2006 Opal Jean relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada to be close to her children and family. Here she became a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution with her daughter and played cards at the senior center with her son.

Opal Jean was preceded in death by her parents James Oakley McFall and Ruth Marie (Catt) McFall, her brothers Mark Edgar McFall and James Lewis McFall, her sisters and brothers-in-law Elaine McFall, Rosemary Vandenburg (James), Phyllis Carlson (Eddo)and Ruby Benjamin(Howard) and her husbands Leland James Horton, and Leo Wayne Carlson.

Opal Jean is survived by her son Richard Horton (Dolores), daughter Sharon Lopez (Rubel); stepchildren, Wayne Carlson (Denise), Karen Uglem (Don), Claudette Sutton (Bob), Jeff Carlson (Robin); grandchildren Wendy Jo Burgess (Dennis) and Wesley James Melius (Tracy); seven great-grandchildren, Amber Burgess, William Melius (Molly), Jamie Melius, Johnathan Melius, Cristina Burgess, Dennis Burgess III, Robert Burgess, and one great-great-grandson Jackson Thomas Melius. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, step grandchildren and step great-grandchildren.

Private memorial services will be held later. Condolences can be sent to the family at 4771 Chama Court, Las Vegas, NV 89121.

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Published by The Bismarck Tribune on May 4, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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