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Opal Forkel

March 5, 2019

Opal “Elaine” Forkel, 81 of Midland, MI and formerly of Ipswich, SD, passed away Tuesday, March 5, 2019 knowing she was dearly loved by her family.

Visitation will be 5-7:00pm Thursday, March 28, at Gramm Funeral Home, 720 N. 6th Street in Ipswich. A committal service will be at 10:00am Friday, March 29, at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Aberdeen.

A funeral service was held Friday, March 15, 2019 in Michigan.

Elaine was born November 27, 1937 to Melvin Harrison DeShon and Grace Pauline (Barnett) DeShon in Stewartsville, MO. She was raised there until the family moved to St. Joseph, MO her sophomore year. Elaine graduated from Central High School, St. Joseph, MO in 1955.

During the summer before she graduated, Elaine was a Candy Striper at the hospital. After graduation, she worked at Herman’s Drugstore in St. Joseph. She went to Kansas City, MO for training and returned to St. Joseph and worked at Black Angus as a Keypunch Operator.

On November 24, 1957, Elaine was united in marriage to Raymond Forkel in St. Joseph. Elaine had met Raymond at a Church Camp in Stanberry, MO that was affiliated with the Church of God Seventh Day. In 1958, they moved to Raymond’s home area in Ipswich, SD. They lived and raised their family on a farm near Ipswich.

Elaine was a devoted wife and mother. She worked as hard as anyone on the farm. She always had a home cooked meal for all that gathered at the table. During harvest time, she took hot meals to them as they combined in the fields. She drove the grain trucks and did whatever needed to be done. After retiring in 1999, Elaine and Ray moved to Michigan to be close to family.

She enjoyed spending time with her family. Elaine often visited her siblings that still lived in MO, especially at Thanksgiving time. She delighted in time spent with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, travelling to see them wherever they lived. She was all about family!

Elaine liked gardening, flowers, reading and taking walks. She also liked to feed the wild birds and enjoyed watching the birds and squirrels as they ate at the feeders.

Elaine was a member of the Church of God Seventh Day. While living in Michigan she attended church with the Freeland congregation. She had a strong and enduring faith.

Thankful for having her in their lives are her children David (Lovelle) Forkel of Midland, Diane (Frank) Clark of Louisburg, NC, Dennis (Lou Ann) Forkel of Midland, and Donna (Ray) Nelson of Arcadia; grandchildren Michelle Delzer, Aimee Nortier, Michael (Emily) Clark, Daniel Clark, Gabriel (Alicia) Forkel, Rachel (Zach) Fauth, Amanda Waterman, Thaddeus (Michelle) Waterman, Brandyn Waterman, and Zachary Waterman; great grandchildren Spencer, Alexx, Nathan, Aubrey, Logan, Hunter, Evee, Dixie, and Octavian; sisters Lavina Watkins and Virginia (David) Maudlin; brothers Melvin (Marilyn) DeShon, Harold (Ellen) DeShon, and Richard (Daria) DeShon; sisters-in-law Delores (Clifford) Tuttle and Janet (Jim) Peitz; brother-in-law Lester (Colleen) Forkel; as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family.

Elaine was preceded in death by her parents; husband Raymond Forkel; brother Robert Darrell DeShon; and brother-in-law William Watkins.

Online guest registry at


Gramm Funeral Home
  • Email Details
  • 720 6th Street North
    Ipswich, South Dakota 57451

Graveside Service

Sunset Memorial Gardens Mausoleum
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  • 5851 East US Highway 12
    Aberdeen, SD 57401

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