Opal Waive Turnidge Clapp Stewart

The Gates of Heaven opened wide on Aug. 21, 2018, when Opal’s earthly journey came to a close.  Well-lived: daughter, sister, mother, wife, nurse, nurse practitioner, grandmother, great-grandmother, mountain hiker, friend, traveler, and Billy Graham Association prayer warrior.  
 Born to William Oliver Turnidge and Ruby Gertrude Williamson Turnidge, in Weiser, Idaho, on July 17, 1927, she was 9 when her mother died and her father married Ruby’s sister Viola. 
 Graduating from Weiser High School, 1945, as the  youngest of five siblings, she entered nurse’s training at Boise’s St. Lukes Hospital earning her RN pin. Opal served in labor and delivery for years.
 After WWII, she met a U.S. Marine, Wesley Elden Clapp, at a roller rink in Emmett. They married Sept. 9, 1949, and raised three boys. They built a house in Meridian and purchased horses for riding, hunting, and participating in the Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue Unit.
 In 1955, they heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a sawdust tent meeting. Both trusted Jesus as their personal Savior and attended Baptist Temple Church.
 Opal transitioned her medical practice to the Nampa Health Clinic to serve the migrant farm labor community. After training at the University of Arkansas, she became one of Idaho’s first Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners.
 Recognizing the need for specialized residential services for dementia and Alzheimer patients, she and Wesley built three shelter homes in Meridian, forerunners of today’s ALFs.
 After leaving Idaho, Opal crisscrossed the USA in her RV, walked nearly 700 miles of the Appalachian Trail, hiked many of the Sawtooth trails, and, frequently wintered in the Southwest.  
 From 1991 to 1995, she continued her medical career serving the Navajo Indian Reservation in Ganado, and, practiced in a health clinic in Casa Grande, both in Arizona.  She retired in 1995.
 Opal married Robert Stewart in California in 2009; they relocated to an ALF in Oregon.  Due to her declining health, in January, 2012, Terry and Karen brought her to Sarasota, Florida.
 Her last year of life was marked by rapidly progressing health problems requiring specialized living facilities. Still, she connected with the people around her, enjoyed special occasions, spent considerable time in prayer, and smiled that engaging smile of hers.
 Opal is survived by her brother, Sheldon Turnidge, 92, and her sons, Terry (Karen), Redge (Rebecca), and Steven (Del), 8 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, and, two of her best childhood friends Louie Attebery, Caldwell, and Erica Oswald, Placerville.  
 She is preceded in death by both husbands.
 She spoke her last words to Terry and Karen, “see you later”, hugged them tightly, and smiled her wonderful smile.  Four days later, she slipped into eternity.
 Interment will be at the Weiser Hillcrest Cemetery grave site of her father, mother, and stepmother, on Sept. 29, 2018, at 2 p.m.­

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Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718
 

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