Opal J. Zimmerman, age 97, a former longtime Big Springs area resident, passed away Thursday morning, November 3, 2011 at the Indian Hills Manor Nursing Home in Ogallala.
Opal was born October 18, 1914 on a farm near Elsie, Nebraska, in Perkins County, the daughter of Charles Edwin and Ruth Francis (Plunkett) Skinner. She was one of eight children. Opal was educated in various country schools. She resided in Ogallala before moving to Idaho to live with an aunt, she then moved to Kansas until the time of her father’s death. The family then moved to Columbus, Ohio before eventually returning to Ogallala.
Opal married Ralph Zimmerman on August 16, 1939 in McCook, Nebraska. The couple had three children: Patsy Jane, James Leo and Dennis Dale. They lived on the Zimmerman family homestead west of Big Springs until Ralph’s death on December 16, 1994. Opal moved to Indian Hills Manor on
March 1, 2003.
Opal was a life-long member of the Merry Mixers Club and served four years on the Big Springs School Board and was a founding member of the Platte Valley Civic Music Association. Opal served as a volunteer at the North Platte Canteen during World War II. She loved to cook and garden and was an expert knitter and crocheted many, many miles of lace.
Opal was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Zimmerman; a son, Jimmy, who had polio; a son in law, Jack Whittier; her parents, two sisters and four brothers.
Survivors include: a daughter, Patsy Whittier of Commerce City, CO; a son, Dennis and wife Judy Zimmerman of Big Springs, NE; six grandchildren, Judy and husband Don Broderick of Thornton, CO, Tim and wife Dena Whittier of Thornton, CO, Steve and wife Patty Whittier of Brooklyn, NY, Brian Zimmerman of Big Springs, NE, Stacy and husband Brad Brandt of Broomfield, CO and Tom and wife Becky Zimmerman of Lincoln, NE; eleven great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren; a sister, Velma Randall of Ogallala, NE; and many nieces and nephews including a special niece, Alice Bailey of Lewellen, NE; and a host of other friends and relatives.
Committal services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 12th at the Big Springs Cemetery with Pastor Joy Savage of the Big Springs United Methodist Church officiating. A memorial has been established to the Big Springs United Methodist Church in her memory. Online condolences may be sent at gubserfuneralhome.com. Gubser Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.