Opal Mae (Mykleby) Hedberg, 94, of St. Anthony Park, died Aug, 30.

She was born on Oct.30, 1923, in the Red River Valley in northwest Minnesota, the middle child in a family of seven children. Her parents, Olaf and Minnie Mykleby, raised their family on a farm near Eldred, MN, and later moved into town to run the Mykleby Cafe. Opal and her siblings attended a live-in high school in Crookston, the Northwest School of Agriculture.

Opal moved to St. Paul in 1941 to begin college at the University of Minnesota. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, she moved to San Francisco to help her sister Eva Pearson care for her first child while Eva’s husband was serving in the Navy.

Opal did office work and studied for a year at the University of California Berkeley. She returned to the University of Minnesota in 1947 to finish her degree in Home Economics and Related Arts, joining the Beta of Clovia Sorority, and graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science. She supported herself by working at several jobs, including as a live-in maid and secretary.

Opal married Marlin Hedberg on Nov. 23, 1951, at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church. The couple soon moved to Kankakee, IL, where their three daughters were born: Lisa in 1955, Nancy in 1956, Teri in 1959. The family moved back to St. Anthony Park in 1968, to a house on Gordon Avenue, where Opal continued raising her daughters and caring for her home and family members.

Opal worked as an employment counselor. She was an accomplished painter and pursued many other interests, such as sewing, arts and crafts, entertaining, gardening, camping, reading, classical music, theater, and the study of French. Opal very much enjoyed traveling, especially a trip to Norway in 1984. She made frequent trips to visit her daughters in New Orleans, Vancouver (Canada), and Paris (France).

After the death of Lisa in 2004 and Marlin in 2006, Opal continued living by herself on Gordon Avenue, while participating in many community senior activities. In 2013, she moved to Cherrywood Pointe in Roseville, where she lived for five years until her recent death.

Her memorial service was held Sept. 5 at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church, with interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, beside her husband Marlin. Memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer’s Association, to the Saint Anthony Park Area Seniors, or to St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church.

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