Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Opal Marie Yarbrough Howell was born August 27, 1930 in Holland, MO to William Earl Yarbrough and Opal Loraine Garrett Yarbrough. Ree passed away on April 26, 2022 in Piggott, AR at the age of 91.

When Ree was young, she would chop and pick cotton here in the Missouri Bootheel. After that was done, they would then load up and travel out to California, where they would pick grapes, hops and other crops. Her first “real” job was at Laundry and Linen Supply in Fresno, CA at the age of 16.

In 1948, Ree Came back to the Bootheel and started working at the shoe factory. This is when she married Elmer Clyde Howell, who was 42 years old at the time. They wed on May 7, 1949 in Piggott, AR. Nine months later on February 21, 1950, her only child Jerry Wayne was born. Ree always joked that the ladies of the church were sure counting weeks on their calendars after he was born.

In 1962, Ree began working outside the home again and worked at Steele Apparel, then ACCO. In 1995, she retired and began working part time here in Steele. She worked at Golden Girls, Show Me Pizza, watched children, and then was hired by South Pemiscot Schools working with special needs children. This was by far her most rewarding job.

At the age of 75, her health started to go down, so sadly, she retired again.

Ree had a very busy life. On top of all the jobs she had, she also helped take care of the children at Denton Assembly of God Church for too many years to count. She helped with many of the sick and elderly and would even go out to the nursing home to play the piano for them.

She out lived most of her family and all of her “old friends”, as she would say. She leaves behind her “young friends” and her family, Russ, Carrie, Emily, Sam, Beau, Abbie, Blair, Wyatt, Daly and Jayce.

Services were held April 30, 2022 at 1 p.m. at Powell Funeral Home in Steele with Rev. Charles Clark officiating. Burial was in Mt. Zion Cemetery in Steele with pallbearers, Sam Rinehart, Beau Rinehart, Josh Morton, Joel Morton and TJ Davis.

Powell Funeral Home of Steele in charge of services.