Mamie Amanda Larson
BORN: October 6, 1918, in Emmetsburg Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
DIED: November 30, 1988, in Story City, Story County, Iowa
AGED: 70 years, 1 month, 24 days
BURIED: Ames Municipal Cemetery, Ames, Story County, Iowa
FATHER: James Peter Larson born October 7, 1871, in Sieby, Denmark
MOTHER: Theresa Marie Jondall born March 7, 1889, in Lost Island Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
MARRIAGE: to Arvid Leonard Oppedal on June 26, 1950, in Nashua, Chickasaw County, Iowa
Mamie Amanda Larson was born on October 16, 1918, on the family farm northwest of Emmetsburg, Iowa. She was the fourth child of Peter and Theresa Larson.
I don't know anything about Mamie's early life, but my Mom always said that she was like a mother to her younger brother, Lloyd Larson, after their mother's death in 1936. Both of them stayed on the farm and helped to take care of their father until his death in 1947.
Sometime after that, Mamie moved to Ames to find work. I know that she did some secretarial work at Iowa State College. It was during that time when she met Arvid Leonard Oppedal. They fell in love and eventually got married at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa, on June 26, 1950.
Leonard was a carpenter by trade, and he built several houses in Ames. In the 1960s, they moved to Anchorage, Alaska. Leonard worked out in the Aleutian Islands, and it was hard on Mamie to be alone for those long periods of time. They were back visiting in Ames when the earthquake hit Alaska in 1964. Luckily their house wasn't damaged.
I'm not sure when they moved back to Iowa, but I remember writing letters to Mamie in Alaska while I was serving in Vietnam in 1967-68. After their return to Ames, Mamie began having health problems. It was discovered that she suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and she eventually had to be put into a nursing home during the last months of her life. She passed away on November 30, 1988.
Mamie was a gentle soul. She was kind to everyone, as was Leonard. She liked to garden, and was a good housekeeper and a great cook. She had a sense of history, and she saved many mementoes from the Larson family's past. She had a very happy laugh, and you couldn't help laughing whenever she did. Mamie was always nice to everyone.