Funeral services for Opel Ann Skiles, age 81, of New Waverly, Texas, were held on Saturday, March 20 at 11 a.m.. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Interment followed in Pace-Stancil Memorial Rest Gardens Cemetery in Cleveland, Texas.
Opel Ann Chamberlain Howell Skiles was born in Sego, Grand County, Utah on March 3, 1929, to Mary Ann Stocks Beeson Chamberlain and David Richard Chamberlain. She was the last surviving sibling of her family, all half-brothers and sisters, Vestle, Jack, Doris, Roy, Floyce and Angus Beeson and Orvalt Carrie Chamberlain.
Opel’s parents moved back to Moab, in southeastern Utah, when she was still a small child, and she grew up there. Her ancestors were some of the pioneers who helped settle Moab.
Her father died when she was 14, after living as an invalid for several years, so her mother worked at odd jobs to make a living for them, one of the jobs being a midwife.
Opel married Robert Henry Howell in 1946 and they moved to Summit Point, Utah to “dry farm,” a type of farming that relies completely on rainfall. They had four sons, Robert Richard, Clinton Karl, Jerry Alfred and Stanford Lee. The farming was proving difficult, so they sold the farm and moved to Bluff, Utah, where Margaret Ann (Margo) was born.
A few years later, the marriage ended and Opel moved back to Moab, where she met and married Samuel Skiles. He had wanderlust and they moved frequently for several years before ending up in southeast Texas. Where ever they moved, she immediately set about making a comfortable and welcoming home and started planting flowers. She had a green thumb and loved growing anything from flowers to vegetables. She loved animals and always had a dog or two.
Opel loved people and any number of people in her home was never too many, the more the merrier. She had a good sense of humor and was always ready for fun. She loved being outdoors playing or working.
Opel did beautiful embroidery, liked canning her fruits and vegetables, was an avid reader and was always anxious to help. She liked the water and was happy to catch fish, but not to eat them.
Opel was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had a strong faith. Her family meant everything to her. She had a full life and is dearly loved and will be sorely missed.
She died March 16, 2010 in Conroe, Texas.
She is survived by her sons, Robert Richard Howell and wife Marlene, Clinton Karl Howell and wife Joy, Jerry Alfred Howell and wife Anne and Stanford Lee Howell and wife Mary; daughter, Margaret Ann Howell Adams and husband Johnny; 30 grandchildren; and 55 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by numerous other relatives and friends.