USAO News Bureau

GARRISON, Opal Mary Catherine (Goodknight)

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Funeral service for Opal Mary Catherine Goodknight Garrison, age 95, of Chickasha, Oklahoma, will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, 2004, in the McRay Funeral Home Chapel. O

pal Garrison was born the daughter of Fred Goodknight and Ada May Johnson Goodknight on January 2, 1909, in Neodesha, Kansas.

She died on December 1, 2004, in Chickasha.

Opal s father, who called her O-Pal , died when she was nine years old. Her mother struggled to raise three young children until she later remarried.

To this union a new sister was born.

Opal's family moved from place to place following the midwest railroads while she was growing up.

She graduated from high school in Dalhart, Texas, in 1926. Later the family moved to Chickasha, and Opal went to Oklahoma College for Women (now USAO) for one year.

She began her teaching career at Sandlin where she and the other teacher lived with a student's family from 1929 through 1931.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1939 from Central State Teachers College in Edmond, Oklahoma.

As an elementary school teacher, Opal utilized her free summer months for employment, education, and travel.

For two summers during World War II she and a friend stayed in New York City to work, see the sights, and go to the shows.

Opal completed her masters degree in education from the University of Oklahoma in 1955. She taught forty-three years in the Chickasha area which included thirty-two years of fourth graders at Northwest School.

She married elementary school principal Jesse Garrison on December 23, 1961, in Chickasha. After their retirement in 1972 they traveled all over the continental United States and Canada and often joined the Avion RV camper rallies.

They made their home together in Chickasha for thirty-two years until his death.

Opal lived a Christian life and was an active member of the Epworth United Methodist Church for seventy years including many decades as a choir member.

She belonged to several organizations and was a life member of the MacDowell Music Club.

Opal was a lifelong lover of opera and classical music.

She had a will of iron that saw her through difficult times. Through the years she learned of the positive impact she had had on her students lives.

She was preceded in death by her parents, three sisters, Ruth Gabbard, Dorothy Eknes, and Lillian Hancock, and her husband, Jesse, on April 20, 1994.

Survivors include: brother-in-law, Al Hancock of Orange City, Iowa; niece, Glenda Holmes of Boulder, Colorado; niece, Kay DeJong of Orange City, Iowa; niece, Carol Beck of Comanche, Texas; nephew, Craig Hancock of Edwards, Illinois; nephew, Curt Hancock of Mt. Vernon, Iowa; nephew, Kent Eknes of Rock Valley, Iowa; niece, Karla Aalberts of Los Angeles, California; niece, Kim Kerkhoff of Burlington, Wisconsin; numerous great & great great nieces & nephews.

Interment will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery. Service will be under the direction of the McRay Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to The Tipton Homes, P.O. Box 370, Tipton, OK 73570.