Baker City, Oregon
Byrdie “Opal” Dielman, 85, died Sept. 12, 2002, at St. Elizabeth Care Center, where she had been a resident for three weeks.
Her memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at the United Methodist Church, 1919 Second St.
Opal, the first of six children of Robert David and Hazel Viola Fox Shropshire, was born on Jan. 14, 1917, at the family farm near Ashland, Kan., 50 miles south of Dodge City. She obtained her education there graduating as valedictorian of the Ashland High School class of 1935.
She married Raymond “Ray” Charles Dielman, who also grew up in Ashland, on April 18, 1936. That summer the couple, along with another newlywed couple, Tom and Beth Window, migrated together in Ray’s Model A Ford to Boise, Idaho, where the couple’s first two children were born.
In January 1943, the family moved to Baker City, where Ray had taken a job with the Railway Postal Service. In 1945, Ray shipped out to the South Pacific and Opal went to work for C. C. Anderson, a large department store in the 2100 block of Main Street.
In 1951, she left the work force to have a third child, returning to work in 1956 as a timber resource clerk for the U. S. Forest Service until her retirement in 1975.
Opal was a member of the United Methodist Church from her arrival in Baker City in 1943 until her death, serving many years as church treasurer. In the early 1950s Opal volunteered as an aircraft spotter atop Antlers Hotel as part of a nationwide early warning system designed to detect a Russian air attack. She also was a member of St. Elizabeth Hospital Auxiliary for many years.
Opal was preceded in death by her parents; an infant sister, Bonnie; and her brother, Kenneth, who died in 1958 at age 19 in a military aircraft crash.
She is survived by her children, Gary Dielman of Baker City, Chari Moser of Bellevue, Wash., and Cindy Carlson of Gresham; siblings in California, John Shropshire of Tarzana, Louise Shank of Westminster, and Betty Mattocks of San Luis Obispo; grandchildren, Katrina, Jeff, Nels, Greg, Chris, Kella, and Kate; and great-grandchildren Anya, Chrysta, Monica, Ashli, Garon, Kyle, Ariel, and Lars.
Contributions in lieu of flowers in memory of Opal may be made to the Baker Family YMCA or to the charity of one’s choice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, September 20, 2002
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor