Opal Lorene Milstead of Plano, Texas, passed away on January 23, 2013, at the age of 89.
She was born on May 16, 1923, in Allen, Texas, to Russell J. and Laura Belle (Wolfe) Smith.
On October 21, 1955, Opal married John C. Milstead at the North Baptist Church in McKinney, Texas.
She was a retired teacher and legal secretary; she had worked for the Wylie ISD, an attorney in Plano and GuideStone. Opal was a member of the First Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.
Opal was a 1942 graduate of Decatur Baptist College, the forerunner of Dallas Baptist University. A one-time scholarship paid for her first year. But as the second year rolled around, Opal's parents could not afford the expense. Crop failure had hit the family hard. Opal would not be denied. Her parents put up what little money they could, and she found a job to earn room and board. Dr. J.L. Ward, Decatur Baptist College's president, loaned her the rest. It was a gesture that remained vivid in her memory long after the loan was repaid.
Opal said, "I will always be grateful to Dr. Ward and Decatur Baptist College. It was my lifesaver."
She is survived by nieces, Debi Shipley and husband Randy of Lake Jackson, Texas and Jodell Hinojosa of Vancouver, Washington; other relatives include Early B. Milstead of McKinney, Texas, and Norma Coats of Pottsboro, Texas.
Opal is preceded in death by her parents, Russell J. and Laura Belle Smith; husband, John C. "J.C." Milstead; brother, Odell Smith; and sister, Rogene Johnson.
A funeral service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 26, 2013, at First Baptist Church of Plano, 1300 East 15th Street, Plano, Texas. The family will receive friends during a visitation from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday evening, at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home, in Allen, Texas.
To convey condolences and to sign an online registry, please visit www.tjmfuneral.com.
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