Opal Madeline Vore was born May 22, 1921, on the Vore ranch west of Beulah, Wyoming. Opal was the eldest child of Walter Blackburn Vore and Cora Alice Willsie Vore.
She had three younger siblings, Cora “Tiny” Watson, twins, Walter R. “Tuff” Vore and Freda Vore. Freda died in infancy. Opal was the only surviving member of her immediate family.
She was educated in rural country schools around Crook County and graduated from Crook County High School in Sundance in 1938. She married her high school sweetheart Harold “Hal” Oudin in 1939 in Deadwood, South Dakota. Two daughters were born to that union, Alice Ann and Dorothy Jean.
Opal earned a War Emergency Teaching Certificate and taught the Miller Creek school in 1943 and 1945.
She and Hal ranched their entire lives. She lived her whole life in Crook County, Wyoming.
Opal and Hal bought the Jim Oudin homestead on Miller Creek in the early ’40s and in 1956 bought the Oudin ranch at the top of Oudin hill from Hal’s parents, Will and Annie Oudin.
Opal was an active member of the Shamrock Ladies Club for many years. She also served as a 4-H leader when her girls were active in 4-H.
She sewed most all of her family’s clothes, including western shirts complete with pearl snaps for Hal and many others. She made quilts all through her life, the first one when she was twelve.
Opal also was an avid gardener. Despite the fact that water was always at a premium on Sunny Divide, she grew and preserved most of vegetables the family consumed. Whether she was horseback, helping in the field or gardening, she always wore long sleeves and a large brimmed hat. Her youthful looks in later years was testimony to staying out of the sun.
She was always an active member of her community. She served on the Crook County Hospital Board, the Crook County Senior Citizens Board and was an active participant in the Sundance Senior Center.
Memories of Opal always include the sight and sound of her playing the piano or accordion. She played at many dances and in later years played music at the Sundance Long Term Care facility as well as Sundance Assisted Living. Music was a mainstay in her life.
After Hal’s death in 1985, Opal continued to live on the ranch until she sold it in 2004 and moved to Sundance. She never regretted that decision, as she enjoyed the convenience of living in town.
She served as a superintendent at the Crook County Fair for many years. One of her favorite tasks was preparing grain and grass sheaves for the fair. She also baked, sewed and grew many items that she exhibited in the fair. She amassed countless rosette ribbons for her efforts.
Opal was also a longtime member of the Crook County CattleWomen. She held many offices in that organization over the years as well as Wyoming CattleWomen state historian. She was also active in Sunny Divide Farm Bureau.
Opal was a member of the Sundance United Methodist Church.
There were not many things that Opal enjoyed more than visiting with friends. She always exuded a positive and cheerful attitude.
Her grandchildren were a huge part of her life. When they were young, they could often be found on the ranch with Gram and Grandad.
She served as a news correspondent for the Sundance Times, writing the Miller Creek News for 40 years and the Moorcroft Leader for 10 years.
Opal was preceded in death by her parents; her siblings; her husband, Hal; her daughter, Alice Ann; three grandsons, Monte and Murray Moeller and Rod Greenwood; and one great-grandson, Clay Moeller.
Those left behind to cherish the memory of this family matriarch include her daughter, Dorothy Greenwood (Barry Floyd); granddaughters, Stacey Moeller and Shelby (Garnet) Goud; grandson, Jay (Chastidy) Greenwood; twelve great-grandchildren, seven great-great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be held at the Sundance United Methodist Church, Friday March 16, 2018 at 1 p.m. Opal will be inurned at Miller Creek Cemetery immediately following the service. Lunch will be served at the United Methodist Church following the inurnment. Memorials have been established to the Sundance Senior Citizens Center and the Old Stoney Restoration Fund.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.