July 18, 1920 - February 18, 2015


A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., Monday, February 23, 2015 for Opal Ruth Simson, age 94 of St. Cloud who passed away on February 18, 2015 peacefully in her sleep after a full and active life. A service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 1107 Pinecone Road South in Sartell, Minnesota.

Opal was born on July 18, 1920 in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota to Orlo and Beda Barringer. She graduated from Eagle Bend High School in 1938 and attended St. Cloud State Teachers College. She married Alan Harvey Simson in 1948 and they made their home in Wheaton, MN where they raised two sons, David and Dale.

Opal taught elementary school for over 40 years retiring in 1985. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Minnesota, Morris while teaching full-time and being a wife and mother. It was this determination and dedication that inspired many around the Whitney Senior Center Fitness Room where she “rocked” the room while pedaling 30 plus minutes daily on her exercise bike.

Opal enjoyed people and entertaining friends, cooking, and sewing, as evidenced by a den full of embroidered flour sack dish towels. But most of all, her joy was being with her grandchildren whom she shared a special relationship; bonds formed from hours and hours of reading to them from infancy into their teenage years.

Opal was happy to be cared for at home by her son, David, who lived with her, and her son Dale, who brought her to Whitney to visit and enjoy a good meal. Her bright smile, optimistic attitude, and calming presence will be missed by her surviving children:
David Alan Simson, Dale William Simson and his wife, Cyndi Simson, St. Cloud, MN; grandchildren: William Allan Simson, Fridley, Allan Thomas Simson and Robert Dale Simson, St. Cloud. Sister: Dorothy (Maynard) Boeckmann, many nieces and nephews, her Whitney family and the whole Simson family.

Opal was preceded in death by her husband, Alan, sister Margaret (Johnny) Rabina, brothers: Roger (Beverly) Barringer, Cliff (Jeanette) Barringer, Dale (Marge) Barringer, and Jack (Rose) Barringer.