Opal Lee Gamlin

    June 4, 1915  -  February 19, 2013


Send Flowers  |  Send Card



Life Legacy


Opal Lee Patten Gamlin
(NANA)
Opal was born on June 4, 1915 in Treat, Arkansas, to her loving parents Walter Patten and Lucy Jane Ross. Passed away on February 19, 2013 at the age of 97 in Escondido, California at Oakmont of Escondido Hills, assisted living home.
Surviving are her Son, Larry Patten Donoho of Kanab Utah, Grandchildren: Derek Donoho of Fredonia, Arizona, Tiffanie Donoho-Kasner and her husband Gregg Kasner of San Diego, California, Great Grandson’s Sean Donoho, Tate and Max Kasner. Sisters: Minnie Alice Clay of Portageville, Missouri, Laverne Beland of Tucson, Arizona, Brothers J.D. Patten and Kenneth Patten both of Portageville, Missouri.

Predeceased her loving Husband William Dona Gamlin, Father, Walter Patten, Mother Lucy Jane Ross, Brothers: Odell, Pierce, Alfred, and Burl Patten, Sisters: Hila Peterson, Ann Hughy, Margaret Patten, Granddaughter-in-law Kim Donoho.

Opal lived a long and vital life, she spent her youth in Portageville, Missouri growing up on her family farm with her eleven brothers and sisters, and there was never a dull moment. Devoted to her family she rarely missed a family reunion, flying back on her own until well into her nineties.
She left home and headed west after marrying her first husband, Chester Franklin Donoho moving to San Diego, while he was in the Army during WW II. There she began her career as an airplane assembler, working for Convair, General Dynamics and Hughes aircraft, she was real life “Rosie the Riveter”.
Her Son Larry was born and grew up in San Diego. She and her husband Bill were active in Boy Scouts and Little League with Larry.
Being the caring giving person that she was Opal and Bill helped to raise several Foster sons, who for many years kept in close contact with Opal.
A devoted Christian, she was very active in her Church for many years, she made a goal of reading the Bible cover to cover every year. Her car on Sunday was always full; she would provide rides to many who could not drive.
Her friendships were endless many dating back to the early 50’s especially, her beloved friend Edith Bradshaw whom she met while working at General Dynamics. They fast became life time friends after Opal’s offering Edith a ride home from work.
While in her eighties Opal often went to lunch at the North Park Senior Center, that is where she met Cora Lee Johnson, who after getting to know each other found out that they were actually cousins.
Opal loved her Grandchildren, Derek and Tiffanie, they have many wonderful childhood memories of the good times spent with both Opal and Bill whether it was trips to Disneyland, or fishing at Otay Lakes, or eating Kentucky Fried Chicken and Nana’s special slaw along with her great peach cobbler.

In her later years she loved spending time with her Great Grandsons they too shared many laughs and good times, their memories of Nana will last forever.
Opal was always a good listener and her willingness to try anything and go anywhere makes her such a role model. Always the optimist and flexible, she was never left behind, until the day she died she would read the newspaper daily from cover to cover, you could never pull the wool over Nana’s eyes she was always with it!

Tiffanie had become Nana’s caregiver and provided the best tender loving care one could ever give. Derek too was devoted to his Grandmother and they spoke every Wednesday. Jackie Donoho-Nesbitt and Jerry Nesbitt always held a special place in Opal’s heart, too.
From this day forward, when you look up into the night sky, the brightest star you see will be God’s newest angel our beloved, NANA!




Send Flowers or Gifts
Send a Sympathy Card



Born: June 4, 1915

Place of Birth: Treat, AR

Death: February 19, 2013

Place of Death: Escondido, CA

Occupation: Assembler/ Airplane Manufacturing


This memorial provided by:
Poway-Bernardo Mortuary