Laurene Ann Opdyke

8 January 1945 - 30 July 2016

Under: Obituary
Laurene Ann Opdyke

Laurene Ann Opdyke passed away at home Saturday, July 30, 2016.  Laurene, a Registered Nurse, was born January 8, 1945 at Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Milton Souders and Pearl Mary Tolan.

She graduated from Liberty High School (Bethlehem, PA) and went on to St Luke’s School of Nursing.  After graduating as a RN in 1965, Laurene’s first nursing posting was the Emergency Room at St. Luke’s.  From there she was selected to be an ICU nurse in one of the nation’s first Intensive Care Units.  Over the years, she served in almost every nursing position imaginable - Floor Nurse Supervisor, School Nurse, Surgical Nurse Supervisor, Epidemiologist, Infection Control Nurse, Assistant Director of Nursing, VP of Nursing, and Public Health Nurse.  After officially retiring, Laurene continued to teach Basic Life Support for Medical Professionals.  At one time or another, she was licensed in Alaska, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas, Virginia and Oklahoma.  For five years, she worked in Saudi Arabia.  While in Saudi, Laurene was one of only a few women to present a paper before the annual Saudi Medical Conference.  One of her strongest attributes was she was able to bring out the best in others by teaching and by example.  Laurene was always willing to learn and then share her knowledge with others. 

Over the years, Laurene touched many lives.  Professionally, she saw talent in people when they could not.  She inspired the individual to believe, thus improving not only their own career but the medical profession as well.  Laurene’s nursing talent was second to none.  She was the patient’s advocate.  Personally, Laurene was a thoughtful caring person.  Her love for her children and grandchildren had no bounds as their love was for her.  She was never too busy to listen.  Only when asked, Laurene gave her opinion with answers that were straight and truthful, but always mixed with compassion and love.  Her tenderness, love, compassion will be missed.

Laurene’s hobbies were reading and bridge.  She never had too many books to read or trump to play.

Laurene and Richard S. Opdyke were married March 18, 1967 at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

They had two children, Lisa Ann Salem of Encino, CA and William Cecil Opdyke of Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Also surviving are two sisters, Evelyn Hartzell of Bath, PA and Carol Cowan of Albuquerque, NM and three grandchildren, Alana, Leila and Tanner.  Preceding Laurene were her parents and three brothers, Milton, Donald, and Ralvin.

A visitation will be at the Strode Funeral Home, 610 S. Duncan, Stillwater on Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 10AM to 1PM.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice or to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, 1000 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.  A foundation will be set up to provide a scholarship fund for nursing students. 

Note: Laurene was in Saudi Arabia from January 1980 to September 1985 and from December 1997 to October 2000.  Her husband, Richard, worked in the Aviation Department as a Pilot.

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