With family at her bedside, Opal Matt passed peacefully at the age of 101 on March 6, 2019 at her home in Escalon.
Born in Holtville, California on October 31, 1917 to Forrest and Ella Ozbirn, Opal spent her early years in Texas and Oklahoma before settling in Oakdale. At the tender age of 10, she lost her mother and became a homemaker to her father and four brothers. In 1939 Opal met a young man who was traveling across the US on his way to San Francisco to catch a freighter to see the world, but her beautiful smile and big brown eyes made him change his plans, and in 1940 they began their life of 68 years together in Escalon.
With their love and appreciation of the beauty of the outdoors, Casey and Opal loved traveling, camping, fishing, and hiking well into their nineties and throughout their lives a love of animals. Opal was an inspiration to those who knew her due to her strength, courage and compassion for others. But above all else, for Opal, family was the most important.
Opal is preceded in death by her husband, Casey, and her son, Jerry Matt, and she was the last survivor of five siblings--Leo, Lester, Debs and Fred Ozbirn. She is survived by her children, Claudia Matukitis, Deborah Herrera and Greg Matukitis, six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.A celebration of Opal’s life will be held at a later date.
The Escalon (Calif.) Times
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader