Opal Fortkamp - April 27, 2011
Opal Caroline (Gestring) Fortkamp, daughter of Otto and Minnie (Alsleben) Gestring, was born March 1, 1916, at Cowles, Neb.
She was baptized April 9, 1916, by Rev. C. F. Schrein at Salem Lutheran Church near Cowles and confirmed April 2, 1933, by Rev. Fred Elze at Immanuel Lutheran Church near Champion.
She left Webster County with her parents and brother in 1925, moving to Sharon Springs, Kan. The family moved near Champion in 1932 and to the Wauneta area in 1933.
She received her education in Webster County, Nebraska, Sharon Springs, Kan., Imperial, and Wauneta. In later years she continued her education at Chadron State College and received her bachelor of Science in Education degree. She taught in various area elementary schools for 22 years and was Chase County Superintendent for 14 years, retiring in 1990.
On Dec. 17, 1939, she married Emil H. Fortkamp at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on the South Divide. Six children were born to this union.
Opal and Emil first lived south of Wauneta and moved to the Champion Valley in 1941. She enjoyed gardening, raising chickens, needlepoint, quilting and traveling with friends.
She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church of Imperial and was active in Willing Workers until her health began to fail. She and Emil moved to Imperial Heights in January of 2004 and after Emil passed away two weeks later, she moved to the Imperial Manor.
Opal passed away early Wednesday morning, April 27, 2011, at the Imperial Manor Nursing Home, Imperial. She was 95 years of age.
Opal was preceded in death by a stillborn son in 1940, infant son Leon in 1944, father Otto in 1967, daughter Marla in 1981, mother Minnie in 1985, and husband Emil in 2004.
Those left to mourn her passing are son Neil and wife, Jo, of Omaha, Neb.; son Lynn and wife, Joyce, of Champion, Neb.; son Stan and wife, Susan, of Lincoln, Neb.; eight grandchildren: Brian Barjenbruch of Omaha, Scott Fortkamp of Chicago Ill., Mark Fortkamp and wife, Lea, of New Lennox, Ill., Jerel Fortkamp and wife, Mary, of Imperial, Deven Fortkamp of Salina, Kan., Kelen Fortkamp and wife, Elizabeth, of Imperial, Allison Fortkamp of Lincoln, Michael Fortkamp of Lincoln; brother, Victor Gestring of Imperial; brothers-in-law, Martin Fortkamp and wife, Erma, of McCook, Art Fortkamp and wife, Nina, of Wauneta; sister-in-law, Violet Long of Wauneta; many other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon, April 30, 2011, 2 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church of Imperial, with Pastor David Kahle officiating.
Casketbearers were Duane Fortkamp, Dan Roschewski, Don Hyde, Dee Fortkamp, Steve Fortkamp and Jim Long.
Interment followed at Mount Hope Cemetery, Imperial.
Memorials have been established to the Imperial Public Library or to Zion Lutheran church.
Liewer Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.