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Claude “Richard” Oppen

Aug 21, 2009

Funeral services were held Monday, Aug. 17, 2009, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Rugby for Richard Oppen, 68, who died on Thursday, Aug. 13, at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minn.

Burial was in the Berwick Cemetery.

Richard was born on Jan. 24, 1941, in Rugby, a son of Claude N. and Bertha (Olson) Oppen. He was raised in the rural Rugby (Ness Township) home of his parents. He attended country school near his home and later at Rugby High School, graduating in 1959. He completed his education at the Dakota Business College and NDSU, both in Fargo. He joined the N.D. National Guard – Co. A, 164th Engineer Battalion on May 25, 1959. He was activated into the U.S. Army in December of 1959, serving during the Berlin Crisis. Richard was honorably discharged on May 24, 1963. He married Mary Kay Nielsen on Mar. 17, 1972, in Oberon Lutheran Church in Oberon. The couple made their home in Ness Township where Richard farmed with his brother, Robert, and later moved into Rugby. Richard was also a rural mail carrier from 1968 until 1993. For the past 25 years, Richard battled the effects of Muscular Dystrophy.

He was a long-time member of the Berwick Lutheran Church prior to its closing and had served in many capacities on the council. He was currently a member of Bethany Lutheran Church, the Clarence Larson American Legion Post #23 and the Rural Letter Carriers Association.

He is survived by his wife; a son, Thomas, of Grand Forks; three daughters, Tamera Oppen and Brenda Oppen, both of Rugby, and Wanda Gierman of Rogers, Minn.; three grandchildren; three sisters, Constance Fridland of Bloomington, Minn., Lois Anderson of Kent, Wash., and Claudette Smette of Jamestown; a sister-in-law, Sharon Oppen of Towner; and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Robert; and brother-in-law, James Fridland.

Pastor Phil Leer officiated. Music was provided by McKenzie Oppen, Randy Oppen and Kevin Lashman, vocalists, and Barb Lee, organist. Military honors were accorded by the Clarence Larson American Legion Post #23 – Honor and Color Guard and the Military Funeral Honors of Minot.

Casket bearers were John Mattern, Richard Arvidson, David Rendahl, Warner Knudson, Randy and Glen Oppen.

Arrangements by Anderson Funeral Home, Rugby.

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