Opal Catherine (McNally) Fitch went home Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017, surrounded by her family. Opal came into this world on June 8, 1924, as the sixth child of Myrtle (Davis) and William McNally. She was delivered by a midwife at the back of the Perry Confectionary Store in Winona. Her family lived at Prairie Island at the time, but the midwife would not come to the island by boat, so the family came to her.
Opal married Irvin Calvin Dennis on December 4, 1941, in Rock Island, Illinois. They divorced in 1948. Daughter Trudy was a blessing from this marriage. On February 16, 1952, Opal married Franklin M. Fitch at Grace Presbyterian Church in Winona. Opal and Franklin lived and farmed in the Pickwick area their entire married lives. Franklin died on August 22, 2004.
Opal worked at Maytag in Normal, Iowa; as a bookkeeper at Grants, Winona; cleaned homes; worked at Whitaker boats; and in later years ran her own upholstery shop. She enjoyed crocheting cuddly blankets and quilting baby quilts. She also loved to cook and bake. Her baked pies were a hit at many fundraising auctions. She loved spending time with her family and friends, and of course feeding her birds. She planned to host Christmas dinner again this year. In her final hours she was worried about messing up Christmas, but asked all to make good Christmas memories.
Opal was president of the Pickwick Mill, Inc.; secretary of the Pickwick Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star; treasurer of the Ridgeway Methodist Church; member of the Old Settlers Association; Hiawatha Audubon Society; and formally Pickwick PTA; Den Mother; and Pickwick Fire Department Auxiliary.
She is survived by children, Franklin A. (Cindy) Fitch Jr. of Pickwick, Dorothy (Jonathan) Pettit of Rushford, and Perry (Tammy) Fitch of Pickwick; sisters, Lila Valentine, Napa, Calif., and Ann (Gordie) Peterson, Winona, Minn.; sisters-in-law, Helen McNally, Stillman Valley, Ill., and Beverly Lorie, Katy, Texas; grandchildren, Angela (Jason) Bruns, Jessica Fitch, Wendy (Brian) Fitch, Franklin Fitch III, Josie (David) Koivisto, Jake (Dana) Pettit, J.J. (Kim) Pettit, Jane (Kasey) Pettit-Castor, Josef Pettit, Stephanie (Aaron) Jamison, Charlotte (Ryan) Angst, and Marshal (Dallas) Fitch; 25 great-grandchildren; six great-great grandchildren; several nieces; nephews; and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Franklin; daughter, Trudy Fitch Dennis; son-in-law, Arnie Vigeland; parents; brothers, Robert, Orin, and William; sisters, Dorothy, Vera, Betty, and Grace.
Her funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 30, 2017, at Ridgeway United Methodist Church with the Reverend James Strom officiating. Burial will follow at Pickwick Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Friday at Hoff Celebration of Life Center, Goodview, and one hour prior to the service at church.
Please share a memory of Opal, sign her online guestbook and view her video tribute when it becomes available at www.hofffuneral.com.