Opal Thysell – Youngtown, Ariz.


July 13, 1915 – April 11, 2017

Opal Thysell, 101, died peacefully in Youngtown, Ariz. on April 11, 2017.  Opal and her twin sister, Olive Taylor Thompson, were born July 13, 1915 in Sharon, Pa., to Bartlett Taylor and Anna Schnabel Taylor.  She graduated high school in Sharon and later went to nursing school at Buhl Hospital.  Upon graduation, she joined the military April 14, 1941.  She served as a chief nurse at a platoon field hospital in Iran for 11 months during her overseas duty.  She proudly served until her discharge date in December 1945, and continued as a registered nurse throughout her civil career.

Opal married Joseph Rogers Thysell on June 18, 1947.  They remained married until his passing in September 2009.  Over the course of their life, they lived in Bangkok, Thailand, California, and South Dakota before moving to Arizona in their later years.  She taught Sunday school and was active in the Baptist Church in Brookings.  She was also a 50 year member of Eastern Star.  She was a generous, kind spirit who welcomed anyone over for a wonderfully cooked meal and visit. She was well known for entertaining her guests during such visits.  She loved animals, namely her Yorkie, Rusty, crocheting blankets, Polka dancing, and music of any kind, especially gospel.  

Funeral service will be  at noon Saturday, April 15, at Sunland Mortuary.  Graveside services will be at Mandan Union Cemetery, in Mandan, N.D., on Tuesday, April 18 at 1 p.m.  

Opal is survived by her daughters, Anne Hegna (Jim) of Sun City, Ariz.; Karen Borsay of Springfield, Mo.; son, Dr. Joseph R. Thysell of Thibodaux, La.; twin sister, Olive Thompson of Sharon, Pa.; five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren; and numerous others to cherish her memory.  

She was preceded in death  by her husband, Joseph; parents; two brothers, four sisters, and beloved Yorkie, Rusty.  

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