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Opal Lee Bell Baer
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Birth: Jul. 3, 1922
Delaware County
Indiana, USA
Death: Jul. 11, 2011
Whiteside County
Illinois, USA

ROCK FALLS - Opal Lee Gowan-Baer passed away Monday, July 11, 2011. She now joins her beloved husband of 57 years, Lloyd K. Gowan, who preceded her in death on Aug. 21, 1996. She worked for the Dixon State School as a psychiatric aide and was an "adopted mom" to many of the school's residents, retiring in 1966.

Opal Lee was born July 3, 1922, in Muncie, Ind., to Frank and Frieda Bell. She was the youngest of five children. Opal moved to Sterling at the age of 13 after her father died in 1913, and attended the Sterling School of Beauty Culture at 16. She was united in marriage to Lloyd K. Gowan on Sept. 23, 1939.

She married Lowell Baer on April 19, 1998, who died Jan. 14, 2010. During their marriage she often was at his side when he preached at Sterling Mennonite Church. During her retirement, she worked tirelessly with the Humane Society. She always was volunteering her time and home for the aid of abused, neglected and abandoned animals. She was an original founder of the Tri-County Animal Protection League; and a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, Sterling, Sauk Valley Humane Society, the Friends of Animals, World Wildlife Fund, Save the Manatee Club, Peace River Wildlife Refuge, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

She is survived by two loving daughters, Julia "Judy" (Curtis) Repass of Rock Falls and June (Don) Sullivan of Sandwich. Our beloved "Na Na" also is survived by six grandchildren, Curt (Janice) Repass, Ann (Dick) Warren of Sterling, Bill Repass, Ken Williams of Rock Falls, Rick Williams of Polo and Terry (Dawn) Williams of Urbana; 13 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Glenn Bell, Ruth Albert, Mildred Foist and "Brud" Bell; and three great-great-grandchildren, Tyler, Zachary and Aiden Williams.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. today a McDonald Funeral Home, 505 First Ave., Sterling. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. today at the funeral home. Burial will be at Riverside Cemetery, Sterling.

Memorials may be made in her memory to Granny Rose Animal Shelter, Dixon, or to Happy Tails Animal Shelter, Sterling.

Taken from:
The Dixon Telegraph
Dixon, Lee Co., IL.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Page A4 - Col. 1-2
Riverside Cemetery
Whiteside County
Illinois, USA
Created by: Pat Esterday
Record added: Jul 14, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73344418
Opal Lee <i>Bell</i> Baer
Cemetery Photo
Added by: James Forrest
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