Obituary Details

Opal Beryl Jassman

(12/11/1915 - 11/22/2007)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 11/28/2007

Opal Beryl Lawlis Jassman

Funeral services for Opal Jassman were held Monday, Nov. 26, 2007, at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Lusk with Pastor Tom Strock officiating. Burial was held in the Lusk Cemetery.

Opal Beryl (Lawlis) Jassman, was born Dec. 11, 1915, to James Thomas Lawlis and Ida Eoline Garnett Lawlis , the youngest of their 10 children, in Gentry, Benton County, Arkansas, where Ida and the children were temporarily living. Upon returning to rural Hill City, Kansas, Opal grew up on the farm with her family and attended a rural one-room school, called the Golden Rule School. In 1926, when she was but 10 years old, her father died, and the family remained on the farm, with her mother and the older children doing the work, until 1932. When she graduated from the eighth grade in May 1932, she and her mother moved into Hill City, Kansas, where Opal graduated from high school in May 1936.

In 1937, Opal confided in her oldest brother, Albert, that she would like to become a nurse and she would work her way through nurses training if he could assist her with the up-front cash she needed to attend. In 1940 she graduated from St Catherine's Hospital Training School for Nurses in Garden City, Kan., and began work to pay him back the $157.00 she still owed him of the funds he had advanced her. She passed her state boards to become a Registered Nurse in October 1941. She took post graduate work in the Children's' Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, completing her course in April 1944. She worked for a time in Garden City and then accepted employment in Norton, Kan., at the Kansas State Tuberculosis Sanitarium. During this time her mother began needing extra care and she took her with her and provided her with the necessary care until her death in 1946.

After her mother's death she left Kansas, and passed the Wyoming State Boards of Nursing Examiners to practice in 1953. She was working in Casper in the Natrona County Memorial Hospital when she met Harold "Hap" Jassman. They married July 20, 1953 and lived the following years in Casper, where she worked in the hospital and "Hap" pursued his career of prospecting various ores.

In December 1978, they retired and moved to a small home on Sage Creek, about 20 miles north of Lusk, on an acreage "Hap" had inherited from his family. Opal continued to work part time and filled in when called at the Lusk Hospital and the Lusk Nursing Home and "Hap" fenced and improved his land until his death on Feb. 28, 1980.

In 1991 she was recognized as having made a significant contribution to the nursing profession by being mentioned in the 1990-1991 Edition of Who's Who of American Nurses.

Opal moved into Lusk and lived on Vine Street until the late 1990's when she could no longer live alone and moved to the Lusk Nursing Home until it closed and she was transferred to Weston Manor in Newcastle. She resided there until her death Nov. 22, 2007.

Opal was an outstanding individual, an excellent nurse, a loving and devoted wife, a loyal and appreciative sibling and a remarkable human being. Her kindness and consideration, her joyous spirit, her genuine concern for others, were apparent to all who knew her. She never had met a stranger; she was open, honest and sharing in all her transactions with her God and her fellow man.

In sorting through her belongings, it was apparent by the number of thank-you notes she had saved that she took very seriously graduations, weddings, new babies and anniversaries, all events important to others. I had known she observed Christmas with gifts for all of her nieces and nephews and during the Depression Years the crayons and coloring books and sometimes a box of peanut brittle, were welcomed with such awe, they could have been frankincense and myrrh! She was also that generous with her friends and the community in general, with contributions to many worthy causes as well as organizations she wished to support, such as the National Republican Party, the First Baptist Church of Lusk, Business and Professional Women's Club and the National Nursing Association.

Opal leaves to mourn a whole host of friends; a step-son, Larry Jassman and his family of Bend, Ore.; a step-daughter, Victoria Maki, and her family of Glenrock; and 13 remaining nieces and nephews and their families, scattered all over the western states.

She was preceded in death by her husband, "Hap", her parents and all of her siblings, waiting to welcome her home.

Pier Funeral Home in Lusk is in charge of arrangements.

Images & Attachments


Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

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