- Published: 11 February 2016
Opal Delores Eltiste was born December 12, 1923 to Friedrich and Katherena (Nordbrock) Torbeck on the family farm rural Nemaha County, Nebraska. She was baptized December 28, 1923 and confirmed April 10, 1938 at the St. John’s Lutheran (Stone) Church, rural Auburn, Nebraska. Opal graduated from the eighth grade in rural Nemaha County. She was united in marriage to W. Dale Eltiste on February 27, 1944 at St. John’s Lutheran (Stone) Church. After their marriage they moved to rural Vesta where they raised their family. To this union three children were born, Gloria, Wayne and Russell. Opal was a farm wife and help mate to Dale. She was a true steward of the land from an early age. She later worked as a painter with Paint and Paper Pals. Opal and Dale were members of St. John’s (Stone) Church, later transferring to St. John’s Lutheran in Tecumseh, then St. John’s Lutheran in Sterling. Opal was always a very active member of church, singing in the choir and teaching Sunday School and VBS for many years. She was also involved with youth and community activities such as 4-H and Extension Club, quilting and Senior Citizens. Opal was an avid card player and enjoyed sporting events especially involving her grandchildren and Husker football and volleyball. She was dedicated to caring for birds, especially her favorite-bluebirds. Opal enjoyed gardening, working on her lawn and raising flowers. Her husband Dale passed away December, 2000. Opal continued to live on their farm until moving into Ridgeview Towers in Tecumseh in November of 2015 and later transferring to Gold Crest Retirement Center in Adams, where she passed away on February 5, 2016 at the age of 92 years. She is survived by her daughter, Gloria Durman of Kent, Ohio; sons, Wayne Eltiste and wife Lois and Russ Eltiste and wife Carolyn of Tecumseh; grandchildren, Cristina (Rickey) Jackson of Shawnee, Okla., Thomas (Jennifer) Durman of Des Moines, Iowa, Cory Durman of Kent, Ohio, Craig Eltiste, Doug Eltiste (Vicki) and Russ Eltiste, Jr. (Chris) all of Tecumseh and Nicole Straka (Gerard) of Kearney; great-grandchildren, Roy Jackson, Matthew and Andrew Durman, Payton and Mason Eltiste, Seth Laver, Jae-Lynn Edwards, Taylor, Courtney and Mackenzie Eltiste, Colt and Harley Straka, McKensie Straka and fiance’ Ryan Downey and Parker Straka and numerous nieces and nephews. Opal was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Dale, sisters, Eveline Kaiser, Ora Eltiste and Alice Rippe and great-granddaughter, Hallie Nicole Durman. Funeral services were held 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sterling, Nebraska with Rev. Steve Chellew officiating. Charlotte Gronewold, organist, accompanied congregational hymns, “Hymn of Promise”, “Something Beautiful”, “I Was There To Hear Your Borning Cry” and “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” Pallbearers were Craig Eltiste, Doug Eltiste, Russ Eltiste, Jr., Cory Durman, Tom Durman, Gerard Straka and Rickey Jackson. Interment was in the Vesta Cemetery, rural Tecumseh, Nebraska. Memorials to the family’s choice. Online condolences may be left @ www.wherrymortuary.com.