1922 - June 28, 2011
Opal M. Counts, of Craig, died Tuesday, June 28, 2011, after a brief stay at Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, with family by her side.
She was 89.
Opal was born May 12, 1922, in Troublesome, to Edward Charles and Ella H. White.
Opal was raised in Craig and attended Craig schools. She was a long-time member of the First Christian Church, having been baptized in the First Christian Church on June 1, 1936.
After high school, she worked at various places including Midwest Cafe, and Craig Drug. She also helped at her mother’s restaurant. She spent a few years in California before moving back to Craig.
She married Charles “Charlie” Ward Counts on Aug. 19, 1945, in Craig. They moved to a Texas military base for six months, then moved back to Craig.
They lived at Breeze Basin, where Charlie farmed in the summers and they lived in Craig during the winters.
They had two children, Charles Edward and Judy Ann. In 1951, they moved to their home north of Craig.
In the late 1960s Opal and Charlie became “snowbirds,” and enjoyed more than 25 years of going south during the winters, spending winters in Guaymas, Mexico, and later in Blythe, Calif. She and Charlie enjoyed 60 wonderful years together before Charlie’s passing December 1, 2005.
Opal was a member of the Mites Society at First Christian Church, Rebekah Lodge, Does and Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary. She enjoyed traveling, cooking, baking, canning, playing board games with her grandkids, big family gatherings, embroidery, and spending time with her family. She was also an avid Denver Bronco fan.
Opal is survived by her son, Ed, of Craig; daughter Judy, of Casper, Wyo.; sisters Pearl Schneider, of Sierra Vista, Ariz., and Ruth White, of Craig; grandchildren Ethan Counts, of Craig, Deena (Ralph) Tarango, of Rawlins, Wyo., Trini Riley, of Craig, Trixie Albaugh, of Craig, Andrea (Kent) White, of Glendive, Mont., Tony (Sharon) Gudmunson, of Socorro, N.M., and Kelly (Patti) Gudmunson, of Tallahassee, Fla.; great-grandchildren Autumn and Austin Tarango, Latana and Thayne Riley, Regi Albaugh, Kyle, Lindsey, and Tyler Orchard, Katy White, Steven Fischer, Shad, Anthony and Charlie Gudmunson; great-great-grandson Ryder Charles Orchard; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Opal was preceded in death by her loving husband, Charlie; her parents, and one infant grandson.
A service was Saturday, July 2, 2011, at Craig Christian Church with Mervin Johnson officiating. A eulogy was provided by longtime family friend, Mr. Rae Richardson.
Music selection was “In the Garden” and “The Old Rugged Cross.” A special music selection of “Amazing Grace” was performed by great-granddaughter Autumn Tarango.
Pallbearers were Frank Counts, Rob Counts, Tony Gudmunson, Kyle Orchard, Tyler Orchard and Austin Tarango.
Honorary pallbearers were Kelly Gudmunson and all Opal’s family and many friends.
Interment was at Craig Cemetery following the service.