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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • OBIT: Elizabeth Ann Opperman

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  •    It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Elizabeth Ann Opperman, aged 79, affectionately known as Pan.  She died on May 9, 2012 at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri a short time after suffering a stroke.  She was born Elizabeth Ann Ramsay on Feb 20, 1933 in West Frankfort, Illinois to Richard and Grace Ramsay, who precede her in death.  Pan graduated from Frankfort Community High School in West Frankfort and then completed her nursing degree at Christian Welfare Nursing School in East St Louis.  She was then employed by Christian Welfare Hospital.   Pan married Lawrence E Opperman of East St Louis, Illinois on Dec 16, 1953.  They had one son, Michael L. (Larry) Opperman, who survives.  While Pan and Larry were separated for many years, they still cared for each other, talked regularly, and visited when their schedules permitted.   Pan was a caregiver and adventurer.  After the family relocated to central Missouri, she became Director of Nurses at Charles E. Still Hospital, now Capital Regional Medical Center, in Jefferson City, Missouri and eventually rose to the position of Director of Professional Services.    In 1970, she lived in Dundee Scotland with her son and worked at Kings Cross Hospital in Dundee.  Pan has also worked throughout the United States as a caregiver working as a traveling nurse.  In 1973, she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Costa Rica to provide nursing care to the citizens of that country.  Pan has traveled to six of the seven continents only missing a visit to Antarctica.  She settled in Waynesville, Missouri and worked at the old Pulaski County Hospital in Waynesville; Phelps County Hospital in Rolla, Missouri; and finally, Sunset Village of the Ozarks care facility, in St Robert, Missouri where she was employed at the time of her death.  She would also take occasional short sabbaticals from work to drive big rigs with a friend back and forth across the country.   Pan is preceded in death by her parents Richard and Grace Ramsay of West Frankfort, Illinois; sister Dorothy Mulcahey of Champaign, Illinois; her aunt Jessie Dibbern of Davenport, Iowa;  her aunt Gladys McReynolds of West Frankfort, Illinois; and her long-time friend and companion Ralph F. Kiesling of Jefferson City, Missouri.  She is survived by her son, Larry Opperman and daughter-in-law Marti of Sterling, Alaska; sisters Kathleen Vancauwerlaert , Nancy Ramsay, and Peggy Haenel, all of Litchfield, Illinois; Lawrence Opperman of Henderson, Nevada; numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, and many friends.  Pan requested no official services after her death.  She was cremated and in a small family ceremony, her ashes were spread on May 19 over her parent’s grave at Tower Heights Cemetery in West Frankfort, Illinois.  Pan will be missed by all. The family requests any donations in remembrance of Pan be made to your local hospice organization or other charity of your choice.
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