Mary Ann Oppold

August 17, 1932 - November 11, 2020

Obituaries For Mary Ann Oppold

Mary Ann O’Brien Oppold joined her husband Jim in Heaven on November 11, 2020. Her journey started on a farm outside of Geneva, Iowa, and took her around the world and ultimately settling in North Carolina. She was blessed to be part of a large and loving family, including nine siblings. She married James “Jim” Oppold on August 18, 1956. They spent 46 happy years together until Jim’s death in April 2002. She was able to spend the last eight months of her life living with family. She cherished the time with family though she missed her dear friends in Raleigh.

A life-long educator, Mary Ann shared her passion for reading and storytelling with all those she met. After receiving a degree in education she taught elementary education in six states. Much to the surprise of her grandchildren, she taught computer skills at Our Lady of Lourdes in Raleigh, North Carolina. A highlight of her career was establishing the Martin Luther King Junior Day Care in Gainseville, Florida, which remains open as part of the community today.

One of her favorite pastimes was playing cards, especially bridge and Crazy 8s, and she was always more fun to be around when she won. Her grandchildren will note that if the cards were against her, she often got creative in rule interpretation. She was also an unwavering Democrat, beginning her political engagement by stumping for John F. Kennedy in the 1960 campaign, and ending by ensuring every vote, including hers, counted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. For thirty years, some of her most precious moments were spent at Holden Beach, North Carolina, with a large crowd where all present were considered family.

She was an active member of St. Raphael’s Catholic Church in Raleigh since 1985, serving as Eucharistic minister, president of the Altar Guild Society and a member of the Disciples Bible study group. Those friendships were invaluable.

She is survived by her four children, Teresa Isaacson of Raleigh, Anne (Paul) Healy of New Bern, Jim (Julia) Oppold of Indianapolis, and Paul Oppold of Charlotte, her eight grandchildren, Emily Isaacson, Nathan (Anna), Phillip, Angie, and Jack Healy, Natalie, Austin, and Christine Oppold, and Scout Oppold, and three of the most amazing great grandchildren, Ava Grace, Izzy, and Baby Joe. She is also survived by her sister Julia Kastner of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, sisters in law, Ruth Scallon, Sally O’Brien and Gladys Oppold, and a multitude of nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Southern Poverty Law Center.

A private Mass will be held on Friday, November 13, 2020at 2:00 pm at St Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church in Raleigh, NC.

Immediately following, at 2:45, the public is welcome to join the family for the Rite of Committal at the columbarium at the church.



Rite of Committal

02:45 PM
St Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church
5801 Falls of Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27609
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by FHW Solutions

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Mom enjoyed a good laugh. When we were very young and lived in Iowa City, Mom and Dad would have parties. We learned to go to sleep with the sound of laughter emanating from the living room. Paul Healy says she had a good day the day she had her stroke. Jack wanted to move the liquor bottles from a shelf in the closet in Mom's room to somewhere more accessible (Jim says to keep her from dipping into it so much!). We were in the dining room putting the liquor into the cabinet. I said to Mom, "You know. We're lucky because Jack doesn't really drink that much." Mom quickly stated, "Well.... he's got you fooled!" Holden Beach was a highlight of her year from 1991 until 2020. All of the family and more made it each year with only occasional misses. It was the only time of year she got to see Jim, Julia, Natalie, Austin and Christine. We didn't do much but enjoy being together. Mom and Dad raised a competitive bunch of people. Croquet was somewhat intense and beating Nathan Healy was the goal. Mom would occasionally beat everyone and had a trophy made one year. In later years simply seeing everyone especially the great grandkids was a joy. I want her friends in Raleigh to know how much she did miss them. After Dad died they were so important in her life. She often said she wished she could be in Raleigh and see her friends. I find it incredible sometimes how God works in our lives. Mom had a rough time with her fractures in May 2019. She did recover enough to walk and moved to Brookdale in Raleigh. She wasn't a fan, but was able to see friends on occasion. Teresa was instrumental in caring for her so she could remain independent. When the Coronavirus hit the US, Paul had the foresight to move Mom in with him in Charlotte. In doing so she avoided the lockdown at Brookdale where no one was allowed in or out of the apartments. She was able to sit on the porch and watch Izzy and Joe come swimming in Paul's pool. Talk about Joy! Then she came to live with us in New Bern. We had recently redone the master bedroom downstairs. On the wall are pictures of Mom and Dad's family. She loved those pictures. In New Bern she had Paul, Phillip, and Jack to dote on her. They took great care of her seeing to her meals, helping her to walk outside, and joking with her. Joy! My mom taught me to be a strong, independent person. She taught me to love and laugh. She and Dad passed on their faith. What a good life she had. I take great comfort in thinking about her and Dad being together again. Anne Healy
- Anne Healy
I do believe that my mom is in Heaven with my dad. I was taught by my parents that we are destined to be with the people love after we die. I believe that my Mom has shed all the worries and anxieties of life on earth. She is experiencing perfect happiness. For instance, I know that she is warm from head to toe. Being cold made her very uncomfortable and she was cold most of the time. And now, she will always be warm. If there is food in Heaven, she can eat all the ice cream she wants. Her hair will look great all the time. She will get a grand slam every time she plays bridge. And every activity she will get to do it with Papa. She will over all of us and she will be so happy to see us when we see her again. And with her final heart beat, She kissed the world goodbye. Go in peace, Mom And laugh on glory's side Fly to Jesus And live! Love, Teresa
- Teresa Isaacson
Nana was the matriarch of an ever expanding family and united us through her love and her sense of humor. With each addition to the family, Nana's joy increased and over the past several months she took particular pleasure in watching her great grandchildren play, whether in person or via Zoom. The highlight of the year for many of us was the annual family trip to Holden Beach, which she and Papa started almost 30 years ago. The size of the family kept expanding, and she and Papa simply kept renting bigger and bigger houses to accommodate family and friends. Part of what made the beach trips so enjoyable was the Nana was always part of every activity, whether it was playing cards, board games, the initials game, or croquet on the beach. And lest anyone think she was in it just for a participation trophy, Nana was always a viable competitor out to win, but always doing so with a joke and a smile. Of course, if she did win, we were likely to hear about for the rest of the week at the beach and well into the rest of the year. It's a trait she handed down to many members of the family. Nana also was a woman of faith and put her faith into action. She was an active participant for over 35 years at St. Raphael's Catholic Church, serving as a Eucharistic minister, a member of the Altar Guild, and taking communion to the sick. But her faith also led her to help those in need, applying the fundamental tenets of Christ's message in her life. As an educator, she understood the importance of early education in the lives of all children. While raising four young kids, she worked with a group of community organizers to start a day care center for underserved children in Gainseville, Florida. The work she started continues to this day. I was lucky enough to have Nana live with me from March to July of this year. We quickly developed a routine that while I worked from home mom sat at the kitchen table and poured over the daily newspapers. She was always interested in current events and was an advocate of social justice reforms. But mostly we spent time enjoying being with each other making meals, playing games, particularly Yahtzee, and watching murder mysteries on Netflix. She was always thrilled to have the other Charlotteans, Nathan, Anna, Izzy and Joe, come over to swim in the pool. Being with family was always the highlight of Nana's lifea life lived in love and faith. -Paul Oppold
- Paul Oppold
Mom, I know this letter to you will come as a surprise since my phone calls might not have been as timely as you had hoped. And while I am happy that you are now reunited with Dad and are in the presence of Jesus, the void you are leaving in my life will be impossible to fill. Some of the reasons: I won't get to hear the latest problems with the Republican party. I don't have you to test my jokes nor my other attempts at humor. You left before I could convince you to get a dog. I won't be able to make you feel warmer by telling you the current temperature in Indianapolis. I will miss how you celebrated your Oh Hell victories in front of your children, grandchildren, friends, acquaintences, and strangers while at the table in Holden Beach. But mostly, I'll miss knowing that the person who gave me my foundation, provided everything I could ever need, gave so much love to my wife and children, and who became the center of our Oppold family will not be answering my next phone call. Love, Jimmy
- Jim Oppold

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