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Opal Neis-Ruter

June 15, 1925-March 12, 2011

Opal Alvina Neis-Ruter, 85, of Park Rapids, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 12, 2011 at the Green Pine Acres Nursing Home in Park Rapids.

Opal was born to Noah and Delsie (Reeves) Robbins on June 15, 1925 in Park Rapids. It was in Park Rapids that Opal attended public school and grew into womanhood.

She was united in marriage to Sylvester John Neis in 1946. This union was blessed with five precious children: Joseph, Roger, Diana, Daniel and Jane. Opal dedicated herself to making a loving home for her husband and children. Since her husband worked in commercial construction, they resided in many states and cities throughout the northwestern United States.

Opal will be long remembered for her delicious cooking and baking, especially her wonderful caramel rolls and doughnuts. In addition to caring for her family, she also worked as a housekeeper for area resorts, motels and private homes. Opal also put her cooking skills into play and worked as a cook for several area restaurants.

She loved the outdoors; especially, when she could be working in her garden nurturing her produce into fruitful abundance to can for her family and friends. She also enjoyed raising beautiful flowers into colorful splendor for all to see and enjoy.

When time allowed, Opal enjoyed angling for bluegills in her favorite fishing spots. She had a profound love for animals, especially her cats and her dogs, including "Biscuit" and "Sam." She loved music and enjoyed dancing in her younger years.

Above all, Opal had devoted her life to her children and grandchildren who she loved with all her heart. She had endured the pain and deep grief of the deaths of four of her children.

Opal will be lovingly remembered by her daughter, Jane Marie Neis of Montclair, Va.; sons-in-law, Oliver Kendall and Gary Harkcom; daughters-in-law, Julie and Paula Neis; special friend, Leonard Renn of Park Rapids; brother, Joe Robbins of Park Rapids; 11 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Preceding her in death were her parents; four children, Joseph (1982), Roger who died in infancy, Diana and Daniel, who both died just nine days apart after waging a courageous battle against cancer in 2010.

Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, with a 6 p.m. prayer service, at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids; and one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday.

Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Thursday, March 17 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids, with Father Tom Friedl officiating.

Active casket bearers: Jean Carlson, Katie Neis, Brittany Carlson, Christy Masteller, Charlene Entwistle and Rebecca Neis.

Honorary casketbearers: Opal's great grandchildren and great-great grandchild.

Interment will be made in St. Peter the Apostle Cemetery in Park Rapids. To leave online condolences or to view the video tribute, visit