September 11, 1909 – September 3, 2016


Opal May Orton-Pilkington, age 106, of Sartell formerly of Anoka, died on September 3, 2016 at Country Manor Health Care Center, Sartell. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, September 19, 2016 at the Country Manor Chapel. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the chapel. Burial will be in the North Star Cemetery, St. Cloud. Arrangements have been made by Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud.

Opal was born on Sept. 11, 1909 in Hancock, WI to Ray and Bessie (Sartell) Reid. Her family farmed in Rice, Clearwater, and Sauk Rapids as her father rented for a term of 3 years and then moved to a different site. After graduation from high school in 1927 she attended the Annandale Normal School to become a country school teacher. She taught for two years in Graham and Rice schools. On June 29, 1930 She was married to Orrie Orton in Sauk Rapids. They farmed in Sauk Rapids and Stewart, MN until Orrie developed Alzheimer’s. They were married until his death in 1970. Opal attended Mankato State University where she earned her teaching degree in 1960. After graduation she moved to Anoka, where she taught 4th grade for 15 years retiring in 1974 at age 65. In 1974 she married Donald Pilkington. At the age of 90 she moved to St. Cloud to be near family. She moved into the Country Manor Health Care Center when she was 97. Opal had many creative Skills, including, baking, entertaining, tatting, crocheting, knitting, and painting. She was also an excellent seamstress. Her family will remember her as a cheerful caring person who never complained but would adjust to the situation and make it work.

Opal is survived by her children, Jean Hegman of St. Cloud, Gwenn Hoberg of Denver, CO, and Ralph (Julie) Orton of Omro, WI; daughter-in-law, Betty Orton; brother, Robert (Lucille) Reid of Bemidji; 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren and great-great -grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Orrie Orton in 1970 and Donald Pilkington in 1990; son, Samuel Orton; brother, Alton Reid; 4 sisters, Lulu Gregory, Lucille Studanski, Ethel Studenski and Betty Erskin; and grandson, Jeff Orton.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the Country Manor Apartments and Care Center staff for the loving care given to her there.