Opal Charlotte (Meier) Kroening, aged 99, passed away Monday, November 2nd2020 after more than a month under hospice care for failing health resulting from multiple recent falls. Opal was born in Hunter Oklahoma on August 18th, 1921, the daughter of John and Rosa (Schroeder) Meier. As a young child she and her entire family moved to Orange California, then in 1926 moved with her parents to a farm in Winfield Kansas where she experienced the stock market crash, the Great Depression and the beginnings of World War II. She attended St John’s Lutheran Academy and College in Winfield and was employed by Synder-Jones Clinic as a medical receptionist.
On June 18th, 1944 Opal married the Reverend Elmer H. Kroening. Reverend and Mrs Kroening served eight parishes during his ministry as a Lutheran pastor. These parishes include Grace Lutheran at Liberal KS 1944-1948, St Paul’s Lutheran at Fairview KS 1948-1952, Zion Lutheran at Prairie Village KS 1952-1966, Zion Lutheran at Sioux Falls SD 1966-1975, Shepard of the Valley Lutheran at Oak Grove MO 1975-1980, Grace Lutheran at Kansas City KS 1980-1982, Bethany Lutheran at Overland Park KS 1982-1985, and Crown of Life Lutheran at Sun City AZ 1986. Opal served each of these churches in various capacities, to include serving many years as a fulltime church secretary for no pay. In retirement they lived in Sun City AZ until 1997, then moved to the Kansas City area where they lived the remainder of their lives.
Opal lost Elmer, the love of her life, on February 5th, 2014. They leave behind their three children: Judith Ann Barlag and husband Fritz of Blue Springs MO, Donald Wayne Kroening and wife Karen of Kansas City KS, and Mark Allan Kroening and wife Kathy of Olathe KS, and 10 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Opal was known throughout her life for her faith, the grace she bestowed on everyone she knew, and for the never-wavering humor and cheerful attitude she exhibited even to the very end of her long life. Even during her last few days, when feeling the pain of her multiple broken bones and while slipping in and out of consciousness, she would sing at the top of her weakened lungs all the verses of “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, For the Bible Tells me so . . . . . .
The family wants to thank the hospice staff at Villa St Francis for their expert loving care.