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Opal Leuena Berry – January 24, 2014

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Opal Leuena Berry

Opal Leuena Berry, 95 years old, went to heaven on January 24, 2014. She passed away peacefully with her family by her side. Born on August 5, 1918 to Orville and Beulah Towell in Midvale, Idaho. Opal was the oldest of eight children and they called her “little mama” because she was so influential in helping raise her siblings.

When she was a little girl she met her future husband, Ivan Berry. He started asking her to marry him when they were 10 years old and finally convinced her when they were 19 years old. They were married on November 7 , 1937 in Tieton, Washington. From that moment on she was his world and he thought she was perfect.

They had their oldest child in Yakima, Washington and then they moved to Susanville in 1941, where they had two more sons and a daughter. After having three sons, she wanted nothing more than to have a daughter. She was the leader for every group Patti participated: Brownies, Girl Scouts, Missionettes, and every Sunday school class . She made almost all of Patti’s clothes from the time she was born until she graduated from high school, including Patti’s prom dresses.

She joined the Susanville Assembly of God in 1941 and remained a member for 73 years. She was active in Women’s Ministries, adult bible studies, she was a Sunday school teacher, Missionettes leader, and she was one of the first organizers of the Susanville church women bazaar. For many years she drove numerous children to and from church and always had LifeSavers to keep them entertained during the service. She grew flowers in her garden and created beautiful bouquets, for church, every Sunday when her flowers were blooming. She was also an amazing baker and loved to bake pies for auctions and church events. One of her lemon meringue pies brought in over $175 .00 for a youth convention.

Early upon their arrival to Susanville they became best friends with Ralph and MaryLee Elledge and they remained lifelong friends.

Opal spent her entire life serving others. She was famous for her doughnuts on Halloween, her pies, baby quilts, homemade rolls, canning, her vegetable and flower gardens, Care Bear stuffed animals, sock dolls and her beautiful flower arrangements.

Opal is survived by her siblings, Marion Towell, Nora Whetstine and Violet Johnston. Her son, Dean (Dottie ) Berry, daughter and son-in-law, Patti and Gino Surian, Grandchildren: Scott (Rachelle) Surian, Allan Berry, Dena Berry, Aaron (Susan) Berry, Christy (Brian) Rose, Brenda Berry, Mindy (Jim) Filippini and Dawn (Pat) Ascolese. Great-grandchildren: Devon, Colten and Grace Surian; Jenna, Ivanna, Keith and Calliope Rose; Quade, Quinn and Quil Filippini; Savannah Berry; Tucker, Jesse, Noah and Chase Berry; Samantha Berry; Jazmyne and Audrey Schumacher. Her great- great-grandchildren Alyssa, Brylee and Caid Leslie. Her niece Sherrie Thornton and numerous other nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Orville and Beulah Towell; husband, Ivan Berry; sons, Dale and Duane Berry; daughter-in-law; Kathy Berry; and Siblings: Jean Bailey, Chet Towell, Fred Towell and David Towell.

She will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her and being mentored by her. Services will be held on Thursday, January 30, at Susanville Assembly of God Church. Donations in her memory can be made to Northern California Cancer Advocates (NCCA) PO Box 270938 Susanville, CA 96127.

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