Opal Grace Mantzey, 101, of Indian Hills - a Stonebridge Community in Chillicothe, MO, formerly of Dawn, MO died Friday, July 18, 2014 at Indian Hills.
Opal was born March 18, 1913 in Dawn, MO the daughter of Bert Alvin Watkins and Erma Grace Glick Watkins and was a graduate of Dawn High School, Kidder Academy and Southwestern College in Winfield, KS.
Opal married her love and very patient, persistent high school suitor, Howard Lee Mantzey in Chillicothe, MO on April 28, 1945. They shared almost 66 years of life together until Howard’s death in 2011.
Opal received her BS in Home Economics from Southwestern College and began her career as a teacher and home economist, holding positions in Kansas, New York State, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and Chicago. She returned to Dawn in 1945 to marry Howard and became a homemaker and mother, later returning to teach Home Economics at Southwest R-I School until she retired to help care for her grandchildren.
She was a member of the Dawn Federated Church and served on the board of the Welsh Cemetery. She was also a frequently sought resource about local history.
Opal had a passion for teaching but her greatest enjoyment was helping and spending time with her family.
She is survived by her daughter, Lois Benham and husband, Steven; four grandchildren, Jalaine Zelmer Lamp and husband, Shawn; Tara Zelmer Skipper and husband, Jim; Lindy Zelmer Crowe and husband, Rich, and Charles Benham; 13 great grandchildren; son-in-law Tom Zelmer; numerous nieces and nephews.
Opal was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Howard Mantzey; daughter, Nancy Zelmer; and her brother, Ronald Watkins.
Memorials in honor of Opal Mantzey may be made to Collar Cemetery or Welsh Cemetery and left at the funeral home or mailed to Heritage Funeral Home, 3141 N. Washington Chillicothe, MO 64601. On line condolences may be left at www.heritage-becausewecare.com
There has been a cremation.
Memorial/Celebration Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 20, 2014 at Heritage Funeral Home, Chillicothe with a visitation preceding the service at 10:00 a.m.
There will be a private burial at Collar Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Heritage Funeral Home, Chillicothe, MO.