|Opal M. Bates, 77, of Galesburg, died at 5:01 p.m. Thursday, October 11, 2012 at Galesburg Cottage Hospital.
Opal was born September 23, 1935 in Hillsdale, WY the daughter of Athes and Lulu (Clark) Palmer. She married Harold C. Bates on July 17, 1954 in Carpenter, WY. Harold preceded her in death on June 15, 2005. Opal is survived by a son, Steve (and Patsy) Bates of Galesburg; two daughters, Marilyn (and Doug) Raver of Decatur and Vicky (and the late Dale) Woods of Galesburg; ten grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. She is also survived by three brothers, Larry (and Carol) Palmer of Lakeside, CO, George (and Fern) Palmer of Davenport, IA, and Richard Palmer of Ben Salem, Pennsylvania; six sisters, Eula (and Bud) Gibbs of Davenport, IA, Dorothy (and Noel) Taylor of Garden City, MO, Margie Baldwin of Hot Springs, WY, Claudia (and Doug) Powell of Pines Bluff, WY, Debra (and Cecil) McCaughan of Tyler, TX, and Lori Thiel of Pines Bluff, WY; a sister in law, Dorothy Bateman of Blue Grass, IA; and numerous nieces and nephews who she loved dearly. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and a brother, Jerry Palmer.
Opal was the oldest of 11 children. She was a caregiver for children almost her entire life. Opal's life was dedicated to her family. She was a wonderful homemaker, wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother and friend. She was "Mommy Opal" to many, and will be missed by all who knew her. During her lifetime she held many position in the healthcare field, and was a member of the Galesburg Chapter Order of the Eastern Star.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at Watson-Thomas Funeral Home. Rev. Leigh Nygard will officiate. Visitation will be prior to the service Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Private family burial of ashes will be at a later date at Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens. The family requests memorials be directed to Toys for Tots.