Opal Lee Burkes Beall died on April 4, 2020 in Abilene.
A private burial was held April 8 in Copperas Cove. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a memorial service will be held at a later date. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home.
Opal was born in Lampasas County on Feb. 7, 1931, to Joseph Benjamin “Jodie” Burkes and Minnie Alice (Whitehead) Burkes. She attended school in the area around Copperas Cove.
Opal married Gaylion Kyle “G.K.” Beall on March 27, 1948.
Opal graduated with a Bachelor of Science from McMurry College in 1964. After graduation, she taught in the Winters Independent School District. In 1968, the family moved from Winters to Iowa Park, Texas.
Opal returned to college, earning a Master of Education from Midwestern State University in 1971. Over time she acquired certifications to be a counselor, language and/ or learning disabilities teacher, an educational diagnostician and a professional educational supervisor.
In 1991, Opal was given special recognition for her accomplishments in the field of special education as well as several other awards. She retired in 1991 as an educational diagnostician supervisor for the West Wichita County Coop.
After retirement Opal and G.K. moved to Copperas Cove. They enjoyed traveling together all over the United States and discovering and eating at restaurants along the highways. Opal also served as a volunteer at the Hope Pregnancy Center in Copperas Cove. She was a member of First Baptist Church and the local chapter of the Texas Retired Teachers Association.
Opal was a seamstress and enjoyed crocheting, reading and doing crossword puzzles.
After moving to Abilene in 2010 with her dog, Hank, to be near her daughter, they spent many hours crafting, scrapbooking and doing jigsaw puzzles together.
Opal was preceded in death by four brothers, Joseph Thomas “J.T.” Burkes, John Howard Burkes, Joe Gene Burkes and Haywood Burkes; two sisters, Bobbie J Burkes Brown and Juanita Pearl Burkes Adams; and her husband of 60 years.
Opal is survived by one daughter, Gayla Neal and husband Bill of Abilene; two granddaughters, Nicole Todd (Charles) of Fate, Texas, and Joy Chhay (Alex) of Leander; one great-grandson, Magnus Chhay of Leander; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be given to the National Alzheimer’s Association, National Kidney Foundation or a charity of one’s choice.