Opal Mae Carpenter Jenewein, of Dover Ridge, Powhatan, Ohio was called home by her Heavenly Father on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. She was born May 23, 1926 near Powhatan, a daughter of the late Omar and Lula Walters Carpenter. She was a member of the Grandview Christian Church. In addition to her parents, Opal was preceded in death by six siblings, Ray (Doris) Carpenter, Floyd (Sylvia) Carpenter, Wayne (Stella) Carpenter, Marie (Lawrence) Kriechbaum, Evelyn (Charles) Holtsclaw, and Dorothy (Kenneth) Graham. After being married for five years to Donald Ault he contracted polio three months before the vaccine was available. He was almost completely paralyzed and she lovingly cared for him for twenty-six years. Don passed away in December, 1974. During this time the Grandview Church had a minister who traveled from Cincinnati. Opal opened their home to him and his wife. On Saturday evenings she would have a great dessert waiting for them and also each Sunday morning a hearty breakfast was served. In 1980 Opal married Rudy Phillips, an elder in the Belmont Ridge Christian Church. Opal and Rudy enjoyed traveling and they had five happy years together before he succumbed to colon cancer. In 1989 Opal married Melvin Jenewein, an elder in the Bethesda Church of Christ. They had sixteen years together and were able to celebrate several milestones before he passed away with heart complications. Opal faithfully attended the Grandview Christian Church her entire life and God always came first. Her daily devotions took place in front of her dining room window. She took a course in getting through the Bible in one year and she completed it in six months. She encouraged everyone she came in contact with to come to church. Opal did clerical work for North American Coal; she served as York Township clerk for 22 years, and was then the mailing secretary for Belmont County Easter Seals for 20 years. Opal enjoyed canning vegetables that she raised each year in her huge garden. Sometimes she'd have three pressure cookers on the stove at the same time. After all the jars were filled she would still have enough produce left to share with her neighbors. She was an excellent cook and baker. At covered dish dinners her coconut cream pie would disappear instantly. It was difficult to duplicate her recipes since she used a pinch of this, a little bit of that, and a good measure of something else. Opal's greatest joy came from spending time with her family and friends, especially those special visits with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She looked forward more to reunions than to any trip or cruise. When she would host dinners Opal would prepare for days. She always looked forward to being invited to get-togethers with her family and step-families. Opal leaves behind three daughters, Jane (Delmas) Moore, Donna (George) Mitchell, and Pam (Bill) West, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, also her step-families and extended family members with whom she had been blessed to share her life. During the last several years Opal was grateful for the companionship of a high school classmate, James Littleton. They enjoyed eating out, going on bus tour trips, sitting on the porch or in their recliners, and watching TV. They were a true comfort to each other and their lives were enriched by their time together.
Opal's daughters believe the following poem, "The Watcher," by Margaret Widdemer, best exemplifies their mother . . .
She always leaned to watch for us,
Anxious if we were late,
In winter by the window,
In summer by the gate.
And though we mocked her tenderly
Who had such foolish care,
The long way home would seem more safe
Because she waited there
Her thoughts were all so full of us
She never could forget!
And so I think that where she is
She must be watching yet.
Waiting till we come home to her
Anxious if we are late,
Watching from Heaven's window,
Leaning on Heaven's gate.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic conditions in the surrounding areas, private funeral services will be held at a time of the family's choosing. In keeping with Opal's giving spirit, in lieu of flowers and keepsakes, her family requests that memorial contributions be made to American Rehabilitation Ministries, PO Box 1490 Joplin, MO 64802-1490 (www.arm.org).
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