Opal Lois Oathout White was born on October 2, 1925 on the home place in Grant County Oklahoma. She was the 7th of 8 children born to Minnie and JL Oathout. She and her younger sister Eva were “PaPa’s Little Girls.” She passed away on April 8, 2019 at the Botkin Care & Rehab Center in Wellington, KS. She was 93 years, 6 months and 6 days old.
During her senior year of high school, Opal married her high school sweetheart Harold White on March 2, 1943. Three days later he left for the Army. After graduation from Caldwell High School in 1943 and while Harold was away, Opal was a school teacher at New Hope, Fairview District 22 and Bailey Schools. After that, she became a bookkeeper at the Kircher-Beham Ford Garage and later at Scribner’s 5&10. She also was a telephone operator for a brief period.
When Harold returned from World War II, they began their family. To this union came 4 children, Kenton Eugene, then exactly 1-year later came Byron Lee, followed by Rodney Clark and Terre Lynne.
In 1966, her dream job came along and she became the Deputy City Clerk under Carolyn Glover. In 1969, she became the City Clerk and held that position for 19 years. She retired in 1988. She always said that she had to be City Clerk to keep her eyes on her cousin and Police Chief, Max Scribner. The city commissioners needed to fill the term of Mayor and it was a “no brainer” to them that Opal should be appointed. So in 1993, she became the first woman Mayor of Caldwell. She then went on and was elected to that office until 1998. She was one proud lady of the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Main Street Improvement Project in 1994.
Opal and Harold and her best friend Betty Tidwell traveled all around the country for a lot of music and sporting events. Being a high school cheerleader, Opal was very vocal at these events. Sometimes when it was very quiet, she was loud enough for the referee’s or umpires to hear. Anyone around her at these events could often hear her say “For Pity Sake’s” or “Well Good Honk!”
Opal Lois was preceded in death by her parents, her 3 brothers and 3 sisters, husband Harold White, son Kent White and great-granddaughter Addison McDorman.
Opal Lois is survived by her sons Byron (Karen) White of Oxford, KS., Rod (Sue) White of Caldwell; daughter Terre (Denny) McDorman of Caldwell; daughter-in-law Rita White of Caldwell. She was blessed with 13 grandchildren; Laura (Nate) Lund of Wichita, KS., Shannon (Dennis) Mackey of Goddard, KS., Cory (Ami) White of Baxter Springs, KS., Stacy (Aaron) Roop of Caldwell, KS., Jason (Deanna) White of Derby, KS., Casie (Cliff) Risley of Caldwell, KS., Janaye (Mick) Shaffer of Shawnee, KS., Darren (Keira) McDorman of Caldwell, KS., Sean-Michael (Katie) White of Wichita, KS., Dana (Ryan) Krause of Lee’s Summit, MO., Cody (Kristin) White of Wellington, KS., Danny (Staci) McDorman of Kingman, KS. and John (Kari) White of Wichita, KS.; and 36 great-grandchildren; Jared, Mackenzie & Mallory Lund; Lanie (Jaden) Wood, Bailey and Kylie Thurman, Logan Mackey; Hanna, Trey & Hallee White; Taylor (Mary) Roop, Breck and Keeley Roop; Kambree, Kenton and Kreslee White; Jalen, Jackson and Ella Risley; Aidan, Abram and Avery Shaffer; Andrew Lowe and Ashlee McDorman; Lucy and Maggie White; Rylee and Dylan Krause; Karsyn, Camden and Chandler White; Gracie, Kelby and Kinslie McDorman; Brixley White.
Opal Lois is also survived by her sister Eva Neal and many nieces, nephews, cousins and too many “adopted” kids that always called her “Grannie OO.”
Visitation with family present will be held 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday at Schaeffer Mortuary.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 12, 2019 at the Central Christian Church, Caldwell, Kansas.
Memorials may be given in memory of Opal to the Central Christian Church or to the City of Caldwell for a bridge at the Caldwell City Park and may be left in care of the mortuary.
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