Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Obituary: Opal Marie (Smith) Ihlenfeldt

OREGON/ MCALLEN, TEXAS- Opal Marie Ihlenfeldt died on Friday, Feb. 6, 2009, at the age of 92. She was born in Beloit, on Dec. 12, 1916, to Iva Morton Smith and James Nelson Smith. Opal resided in Madison for 21 years, attended Lincoln Grade School and graduated from Madison Central High School. She married Professor Stanley W. Ihlenfeldt on June 23, 1941, and had three children. After Opal's marriage, she lived in Two Rivers, Neillsville and Elkhorn. W.T. Grant's and Harry S. Manchester Department Store employed her, and she later was an administrative secretary for the Elkhorn Public School System. Upon retiring, Opal and her husband moved to McAllen, Texas, and spent summers in Hatfield and Oregon, Wis. She was active with the Oregon Senior Center, and enjoyed making quilts for RSVP of Dane County, reading, and baking "her special recipe" of chocolate chip cookies for family and friends. Opal is survived by her children, Lee R. (Mary) Ihlenfeldt and Richard S. (Sandee) Ihlenfeldt; five grandchildren, Heather Ihlenfeldt, Jenn (Chad) Wachtl, Curtis (Katie) Ihlenfeldt, Mark (Becky) Ihlenfeldt and Doug (Pam) Ihlenfeldt; a great-granddaughter, Samantha Ihlenfeldt, and two great-grandchildren on the way; and a brother, Paul Morton Smith of Madison. She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; a daughter, Ruth Marie Ihlenfeldt; sister, Gladys O'Donnell Ekdahl; and brother, Milton Elmer Smith. Private services were held at Gunderson Stoughton Funeral Home. The family would like to thank Trusted Hands at Stoughton Hospital, and friends and neighbors for the excellent caregiving which allowed her to stay in her home for many years. Additionally, we would like to express our appreciation to the staff of Nazareth House in Stoughton for the wonderful personal care she received while residing there.Gunderson Stoughton Funeral and Cremation Centers Highway 51 N. at Jackson St. (608) 873-4590

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 11, 2009

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