Opal Irene Tunnell

F, (22 August 1910 - 9 January 2004)
     Opal Irene Tunnell was born on 22 August 1910. She was the daughter of William Edgar Tunnell and Ida Bell Todd. Opal Irene Tunnell married Willard Reese Barbee in 1941. Opal Irene Tunnell died on 9 January 2004 at age 93 years, 4 months and 18 days.
     Her obituary was published sometime in January 2004 in the Springfield News-Leader, printed in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. Her obituary stated:

     Opal Irene "Tunnell" Barbee passed away on January 9th, 2004 surrounded by her loved ones in Santa Barbara, Calif. "Lady O" was born in Jasper County, Mo. on August 22, 1910. Her family's early American roots were deep as the generational granddaughter of Daniel Boone, William Bryan, and the great niece of Mary Todd Lincoln. She was also descended British nobility as the 4th generation granddaughter of Lady Anne Howard, Duchess of Norfolk. Opal spent much of her early life devoted to Public Health nursing, having been one of the early pioneers of public school nursing and elderly care. In 1941, she married Willard R. Barbee, County Extension Agent in Platte City, Mo. In 1946, they moved to Weldon Springs, Mo., where Willard became the first supervisor of the newly formed Busch Wildlife Area, which had been part of the original Boone farms. There she would raise their two children and become the official hostess for the biannual National Retriever Trials with Mrs. August A. Busch and Mrs. John Olin. In 1959, Willard accepted a position with the Nebraska State Game and Parks Commission, eventually becoming the director. Opal took on the task of nursing at the Homestead Retirement Home. Besides being the social hostess to governors, senators, and national leaders, she was active in PEO, League of Women Voters, Democratic Women's Club, Isaac Walton League, and a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader. The couple retired in 1975 and resided at southwest Missouri where Opal was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1989. After Willard's passing in 1996, she moved to Santa Barbara to be near her son and grandsons. Opal is survived by her son, Kent of Carpinteria, Calif., and daughter Mary Jane Harpold of Wichita, Kan; her grandchildren, Debra Barbee of Lincoln, Neb., Shaun and Kyler Barbee of Carpinteria, Calif., and Todd and Adam Harpold of Kansas City, Mo; and brothers Blaine and wife Betty Tunnell, and Howard and Ester Tunnell of Mt. Vernon, Mo. A memorial service will be held at the Danville Kentucky Cemetery on June 19, 2004. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Parkinson's Society is welcome.

Children of Opal Irene Tunnell and Willard Reese Barbee

Last Edited=16 Jan 2012