Opal S. Watkins, age 83 years, a resident of rural Grantsburg, Illinois and a former resident of Carrier Mills, passed away Wednesday evening, September 17, 2014, at 7 p.m. at the Hillview Health Care Center in Vienna.
Opal was born July 7, 1931 in Pope County Illinois. She was the daughter of James R. and Flora (Mitchell) Choate.
Opal was united in marriage to Wayne E. Watkins. He preceded her in death on July 20, 2011.
Survivors include: her son – Steven Wayne (Dianne) Watkins of Grantsburg; a daughter-in-law – Kathy Watkins of New Burnside; 5 grandchildren – Richard Watkins, Marshall (Brittany) Watkins, Melissa (Jason) Hall, Kenny (Lee Ann) Swisher, and Rachel (Billy) Thomas; 9 great grandchildren; and a step-brother – Don Evans of Carterville.
Opal was preceded in death by her parents – William R. Choate and Flora Choate Evans; her husband – Wayne E. Watkins; a son – Stanley Watkins; and 9 brothers and sisters – James Choate, John Choate, William Choate, Ina Hill, Mary Watkins, Edna Hilton, Pat Evans, William Evans and Henry Evans.
Opal was a retired cosmetologist and beautician. She was first employed in a beauty Shop in Alabama and often shared that country music singer Tammy Wynette would visit the shop. Later, Opal operated The Looking Glass Beauty Shop in Carrier Mills.
Opal was a faithful Christian. She was a founder and former pastor of Grace Chapel in Carrier Mills. Opal had earned seminary certificates and had served as a lieutenant in the National Chaplains Association. She enjoyed studying her Bible and was an accomplished writer. Opal had published a number of articles and short stories as well as authoring two books. She also enjoyed making hand crafted items, such as crocheted afghans and doilies. Opal loved music and played the piano.
Funeral services will be held Saturday afternoon, September 20, 2014, at 3 p.m. at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna. Pastor Billy Thomas will officiate. Burial will be in the Little Saline Cemetery near Stonefort.
Visitation will be from 1:30 – 3 p.m. Saturday at Bailey Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to the Hillview Health Care Center Activities Fund, 512 N. 11th St., Vienna, IL 62995 or to the Freedom Outreach Christian School, PO Box 284, Vienna, IL 62995.