Opal Grandfield Obituary

Opal Mary (Dunn) Grandfield
Opal Mary (Dunn) Grandfield
Opal Mary (Dunn) Grandfield

December 11, 1916 - December 21, 2010
Born in Rural Marshall County, IA
Resided in Johnston, IA
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Opal Mary (Dunn) Grandfield was born on December 11, 1916 in rural Marshall County, Iowa, the daughter of Arthur and Nellie (Lawler) Dunn. She grew up on the family farm working side by side with her dad and her brother, Leo. Her aunt, Dollie Dunn, knew she was destined to be a teacher and helped her get started on her teaching career. She graduated from State Teachers College in Cedar Falls and taught school in Des Moines at Canary Lake and Woodside Elementary. As the kindergarten teacher at Canary Lake, she met the P. E. teacher, Ronald A. Grandfield, "the love of her life." They were married on April 17, 1941. She continued her teaching career until the birth of her two children, Donna and Gary, at which time she became a fulltime homemaker. The neighborhood benefited from her watchful eye! She was a fantastic cook and always had the perfect plate of chocolate chip cookies or dessert whenever needed. When Donna and Gary were of school age, she added substitute teacher at Holy Trinity Grade School to her list of things to do. Opal was very proud to be a Cub Scout Den Mother for numerous years. Along with Ronald, she was one of the pioneer/founding members of St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church. She took great pride in her Catholic faith. She worked tirelessly with the ladies of the parish in numerous activities. She served as a past secretary of St. Mary's Rosary Society and wrote a church history for the parish. She was a member of the 50s Plus group. She was a member of St. Mary's Ladies Association as well as the Catholic Women's League. When Ronald fell ill in 1972, she cared for him until his death on December 17, 1976. She also adored her little poodle dog, Kelly. She was so very special to Opal! Opal lived in the home that she and Ronald built until ill health forced her to leave in October 2008. It was then that she moved to the Bishop Drumm Care Center where as she always said, "Now I can go to Mass everyday!" Opal had a huge love for sports of all kinds including NASCAR. She was a member of the Kenny Wallace Fan Club and Kenny recently honored her 94th birthday in his newsletter. She received many notes and cards from him! She was also politically active in the Democratic Party working for Jack Holvek's campaign when he was in the Iowa State Legislature. She never missed voting in an election! Opal had a zest for life and a wonderful sense of humor! She was proud to help future generations of kids anytime with learning materials as evidenced in Donna's first grade classroom. Opal's Irish heritage was a huge part of her life. She was a gifted writer and always had something special to say at the perfect moment! She entered into eternal life on December 21, 2010, at Mercy Hospital, in Des Moines.

Opal is survived by her daughter, Donna (John) Britt of Johnston; son, Gary Grandfield and his fianc�e, Carmina Llagas of Des Moines; two step-grandchildren, Tony and Ryan Britt of Osceola; brother-in-law, Ralph Howe of Clemons; numerous nieces and nephews, and a wealth of friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald; parents, Art and Nellie; son-in-law, Rich Rewaj; brother and sister-in-law, Leo (Kathryn) Dunn; sister and brother-in-law, Jerene (Bob) Barlow; sister, Rita Howe; nephews, Francis Dunn, Rick Howe, and Russell Howe; and niece, Linda Hintz; and her beloved dog, Kelly.

Visitation will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 26, at St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church, where a rosary prayer service will begin at 4:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 27, at St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church with burial to follow in Lorimor, Iowa.


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St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church
4600 Meredith Drive
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Sunday, December 26, 2010
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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Mass Of Christian Burial
St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church
4600 Meredith Drive
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Monday, December 27, 2010
11:00 AM
Lorimor Cemetery
Lorimor, IA US 50149
Monday, December 27, 2010