Beth Opgrand (Buesing)
Lenore Beth Opgrand, 95, died peacefully May 25, 2018, in Surprise, AZ. She was born April 25, 1923 to the late Hilda Carlson Buesing and Carl Diedrich Buesing in Glenwood, Minnesota. She was pre-deceased by her husband of 65 years, Arnold Oniel Opgrand of Peoria, Arizona.
She is survived by a son, the Reverend Mark Arnold Opgrand (Rebecca), Wilmington, North Carolina; a brother, Donald Marvin Buesing of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and granddaughter Celeste Payne (Chad) of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Beth graduated from Augsburg college, Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1945. She taught high school English until moving to Medford, Oregon in 1948 with her husband and soon to be born son Mark. Arnold and Beth lived in Medford and Beaverton, Oregon until Arnold’s retirement from Portland based Pacificorp in 1983. They retired to Sun City West, Arizona and resided there until 2002, when they moved to the Freedom Plaza community in Peoria, Arizona. She moved to the Inn at Freedom Plaza in 2015.
Beth was proud to use her teaching skills for many years as an English second language tutor for Oregon Literacy. As a lifelong Lutheran, Beth was always active in church (Zion in Medford, St. Matthew in Beaverton). As a charter member (1986) of Peace Lutheran in Peoria, Arizona she served on the council and was chairperson of a care group for 14 years.
Beth is well described as a life-long learner, and was excellent at crafts, especially making thimble sized baskets and arranging silk and dried flowers. She loved creative writing and regularly offered programs for her church care group. She was an excellent researcher even before the internet and created a large and complete set of Opgrand and Buesing family histories, including many stories and photos. She enjoyed sharing her memories of working as a street car driver in Minneapolis, MN during WWII. Her last project was an impressive history of the development of the “New River Channel Trail Project” behind Freedom Plaza.
Beth was an extremely outgoing person and a natural “Ambassador” for her church and residential communities. Whether exercising socially in Sun City West’s Beardsley Pool, or attending nearly every program offered at Freedom Plaza, Beth loved people and learning. She was generous with her time and support for Peace Lutheran, St. Paul’s Lutheran Stephen Ministry, Holden Village, Chelan, WA, Augsburg College’s new Hagfors Center, and the Sun Health Foundation for Alzheimer’s Research.
During her final years, Beth regularly expressed gratitude for the love and care she received from family, friends, and her caregivers. She was very close to her son Mark and was proud of his lifework and calling as a Lutheran pastor. Precious friendships include sisters-in-law Goldie Kvinge and Marjorie Huston; Kathryn Kvinge, Margaret Hsiao, and faithful friend Mary Johnson. She was blessed with strong faith and a wonderful life.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 23, at 11:00 am at the Freedom Plaza Chapel in Peoria, AZ with committal Sunday June 24, at 9:30 am at Peace Lutheran Church’s Memorial Garden, Peoria, Arizona.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Peace Lutheran Church, Peoria AZ, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Wilmington, North Carolina, or the charity of one’s choice.