Opal Liggett Longley, age 98, was promoted to heaven on January 7, 2022, at Chariton Specialty Care. Services will be held on Friday, January 14, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton. A luncheon will follow at Grace Baptist Church in Chariton. Interment will be at 2:30 p.m. at the Mount Ararat Cemetery located 5 miles east of Centerville on Highway 2.
The family will greet friends from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. prior to the service at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton.
Memorials may be made to Care Initiative Hospice.
The service will be livestreamed at the following link: https://my.gather.app/remember/opal-longley
Opal Liggett was born February 14, 1923, in rural Wayne County to Abraham and Katie Calif Liggett. She grew up in Wayne County, graduating from Corydon High School, attended Simpson College and taught in the Red School House near Lineville, Iowa. Opal married Bernard Longley on August 5, 1943, in Redding, PA, only to return to southern Iowa after Bernard’s discharge from the military. They settled in Wayne County before moving to Appanoose County where they spent several years farming. Three children were born to their union: Bernard Eudean, Connie Sue, and Delbert Gene.
Opal accepted Jesus as her personal savior young in life. She was solidly grounded in the Lord, growing stronger in faith every day. Her love for the Lord was apparent. She was a willing server wherever there was a need. Opal was a member of the Church of the Nazarene, but most recently attended Grace Baptist Church for several years. When the church doors were open, she was there.
After the death of her husband, Opal moved to Chariton to be closer to her family. She was an active volunteer at the Lucas County Hospital, Chariton Manor (Care Initiatives), and Senior Citizen Center, enjoying every minute she spent serving others in the community.
Opal loved to garden. She spent many hours tediously caring for the garden, caring for each plant as if it was the most important plant in the garden. Fresh vegetables were never in short supply in the summer. Opal canned and froze thousands of quarts of produce out of the garden for use in the winter months. Flowers were abundant as well. Tulips, gladiolas, marigolds, zinnias, and peonies surrounded the house and throughout the yard. In the winter, a quilt was in the quilting frames, with each stitch hand sewn with love and a bible story told for anyone in ear shot to hear.
Opal was a tremendous cook, making everything from scratch. She loved life, kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and simply enjoyed life, even a horseback ride in her eighties.
Opal is survived by her children: Connie (Norm) Dygon of Lawndale, NC and Delbert (Karla) Longley of Chariton; grandchildren: Carla (Richard) Renz, Cheryl Barry, Teri (Steve) Hanson, Michael Longley, Amanda Longley, Rachel (Colton) Kiefer, and Abigail Longley; eight great grandchildren; sister, Coy Davis and brother, Dwight Liggett; and several nieces and nephews.
Opal was preceded in death by her parents Abraham and Katie Liggett; husband, Bernard; son, Eudean; brothers: Ray Liggett and Guy Liggett; sisters: Velma Gibbs, Roxanna Petty, Ethel Niday, and Twila Palmer.
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