O pal (Smith) Buchholz was born on April 16, 1912 at Beatrice, Nebraska the daughter of the late Ben Albert Smith and Emma F. (Rorabaugh) Smith. She was the oldest of 8 children born to this union. She grew up in the Beatrice area until she was 10 years old when the family moved to Sabetha, Kansas. She attended Sabetha schools and graduated from Sabetha High School in 1931. She married Henry Buchholz at the Church of the Brethren parsonage in Morrill on September 7, 1932. In 1945, she started working at the Sabetha Hospital as a nurses aide. She went on to become a licensed practical nurse in 1950. She was a charter member of the Kansas Licensed Practical Nurses Association. She also was a member of the Sabetha B.P.W. and the Trinity Church of the Brethren in Sabetha. She worked at the Sabetha Hospital until 1969 when she retired. She and Henry enjoyed traveling after both retired.
Opal died on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the Apostolic Christian Home in Sabetha at the age of 100. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Henry on October 23, 2002 after 70 years of marriage; a son, Jay R. Buchholz on January 1, 2011; three brothers, ; 3 sisters, ; a grandson, Michael David Baker. She is survived by four children, M. Diane Barger of Monaca, PA, Karen Wiltz of Sabetha, Eleanor Latham of Morrill and Thayer “Butch” Buchholz of Sabetha; a sister, Rosalie Painter of Sabetha and 17 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.
Celebration of Life will be held Monday, April 1, 2013 at the Popkess Mortuary Chapel in Sabetha at 7:00 p.m. with visitation from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The inurnment will be in the Sabetha Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Trinity Church of the Brethren, Sabetha Community Hospital or the Apostolic Christian Home sent in care of the funeral home.