Opal Marie Emel, 91, of Memphis died February 25, 2017 at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis.
She was born March 3, 1925 in Scotland County, the daughter of Elmer Milton Wright and Addie Agnes (Roberts) Wright. Opal graduated from Bible Grove High School in 1942.
Opal married Elton Jay Emel in Memphis on October 10, 1945. He preceded her in death on November 24, 2007.
The couple owned a farm near Bible Grove. Opal was a member of the Bible Grove Christian Church and was very active in community affairs.
In addition to her work as a wife and mother, Opal was renowned as a professional cook. She served as head cook of Grim-Smith Hospital, Scotland County Care Center and the Scotland County Livestock Auction Company. Opal was also an avid gardener and a fine seamstress.
Opal was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and six brothers and sisters.
She is survived by her five children: Joyce (Larry) Crim of LaHarpe, IL, Jolene Neighbors of Kirksville, Randy Emel of Bible Grove, Danny (Terri) Emel of Memphis, and Melanee (Jeff) Crist of Kirksville; brother, Andrew Wright of Bible Grove; grandchildren: Brandon (Monica) Crim of LaHarpe, Christina (Christian) Funk of Morristown, NJ, Byron (Kimberly) Neighbors of Columbia, Jessica (Jason) Hill of Cape Girardeau, Jason (Robyn) Emel of Bible Grove, Melissa Emel of Memphis, Evan (Andrea) Emel of O’Fallon, MO, Aaron (Ashley) Emel of Warrensburg, and Conner Crist of Kansas City, MO; great-grandchildren: Jadrien Burbano, Jared Crim, Victoria Crim, Kyler Burkhiser, Chelsea Burkhiser, Hunter Carter, Jacob Hill, Caitlin Hill, Aurora Neighbors, Finley Emel, Charley Emel, Isabella Emel and Eva Emel; many friends and other relatives.
Funeral services were held March 1 at the Gerth Funeral Chapel in Memphis with Dan Hite, pastor of the Memphis First Baptist Church, officiating. Byron Neighbors, Jessica and Jason Hill performed Amazing Grace and In The Garden. Brandon Crim, Jason Emel, Byron Neighbors, Evan Emel, Aaron Emel and Conner Crist served pallbearers. Jared Crim, Kyler Burkhiser, Chelsea Burkhiser, Hunter Carter, Logan Brassfield and Scott Brassfield served as honorary pallbearers.
Burial was in the Memphis Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to the Scotland County Senior Nutrition Site and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.
Condolences may be sent to the Emel family by signing the online guest book at www.gerthfuneralservice.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.