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Opal June Brown Boyd Neilson
Our dear mother, Opal June Brown Boyd Neilson, died on November 5, 2023, while living at the Haven Health Care facility in Camp Verde, Arizona at the age of 89. We were looking forward to your fabulous 90th birthday party. Your life was a blessing to all who knew you and your memory will be a treasure to all who live on.
Opal was born June 15, 1934, to Elmo Murray Mason and Rita Mary Seeley Brown. She was born in Vail, Washington, at her Aunt Cora & Uncle Aldoph’s home. She was named Opal June after her paternal Grandmother, Opal Beatrice Coleman. She was the oldest of 11 children. She grew up on a farm and learned the rigors of work because everyone had to pitch in to help feed and clothe the large family.
She met Russell Everett Boyd, while working at a canning factory in Olympia, Washington. They dated and got married on January 17, 1953, in Yelm Washington, even though she was still in High School. He was leaving soon for an Army assignment to Germany, and she couldn’t join him unless they were married. She graduated from High School in June and then left to join Russell in Germany. Their Military assignments constantly took them across the USA, but Washington state was home base because their parents and maternal and paternal Grandparents lived there. Later they divorced in 1976.
While in Germany, they adopted their first daughter, Elizabeth Angelika, in 1955. Shirley June was born to Russell and Opal in 1956. Bonnie Jean arrived in 1957 and Cindy Lee capped off the girl group in 1958. However, the family was never complete until Linda Mae was born in 1965. She was adopted and adored by the whole family.
While Russell was away on many foreign deployments, Opal was a single mom and dedicated homemaker. She developed close bonds with her girls and encouraged them in wholesome activities. As a devoted mother she was always there for her daughters when they had difficult needs. She also shared their adventures, activities, and happy times. She was constantly sewing beautiful clothes and taught them how to sew.
She was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 6, 1964, along with Russell, Liz, and Shirley. She served in all the auxiliary organizations in many different states.
Opal graduated from Nursing school in Washington. She was a skilled and devoted LPN who loved caring for her patients. She worked in Arizona, Washington, and Utah. While she was on duty in the baby nursery her granddaughter Marisa was born, and she was delighted to care for her throughout the night.
She had a loving, positive and caring personality. She fostered children from the state and others from the Indian placement program. She was a Brownie Scout leader when her girls were young and enjoyed the crafts and activities of the Girl Scout program. After retirement, she participated in the Foster Grandparent program helping children learn to read. She often volunteered in Linda Allred’s classroom at Oak Creek School in Cornville, Arizona.
After 30 years of being single, she married Thomas Leslie Neilson on November 25, 2005, in Provo, Utah. They were later sealed in the Mesa Arizona Temple on April 19, 2008.
She was blessed with 22 Grandchildren, 41 Great-Grandchildren, 3 Great-Great-Grandchildren. Each birth brought smiles to her face and joy to her heart. She was a good example of kindness as she embraced many sons-in-law into the family. Her care for her mother, Rita, was a great example to everyone around her.
She is survived by her 5 daughters and spouses, Elizabeth & Craig Teerlink, Shirley Grier, Bonnie & Mark Luke, Cindy & David Watson, Linda & Gary Allred; her siblings, Leland Brown, Loren & Pam Brown, Dixie Wall, Willard & Cathy Brown, Elmona & Dennis Stalnaker, Joseph & Stella Brown, and countless nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Neilson; parents, Elmo and Rita Brown; her sisters, Patricia Sanford, Pearl Lansing, and Arlene Bartlett; brothers-in-law, Philip Wall and Paul Lansing; sister-in-law, Marilyn Brown; sons-in-law, Robert Grier & Lloyd Shumway; and her oldest grandson, Jay Teerlink.
Funeral Services for Opal will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 360 5th Street, Camp Verde, AZ 86322 on November 9, 2023. A viewing will be held from 9-10 am with Funeral Services at 10 am. Interment will be at the Middle Verde Cemetery, Reservation Loop Road in Camp Verde, Arizona immediately following the services.
Many thanks to her friend Richard Curtis for his kindness and care during her last years. An additional thank you to the Haven of Camp Verde and Maggie’s Hospice.
Zoom link to join the services for Opal on Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 10am.
Please click the link below to join the webinar: