Opal Maurine Willis is the daughter of Amanda Melissa Higdon and William Everett Foglesong. During the Great Depression, Opal helped provide for the family. She worked at the 5 & 10 on Saturdays and styled hair after school and on Saturdays. Opal attended the San Jacinto Beauty School and owned her own shop. World War II changed everything. Many beauty operators left to work in the defense plants where they could earn more money. In January, 1942, Opal joined the WAVES of the United States Navy. After boot camp, she was transferred to Aviation Machinist School in Memphis, Tennessee, then to Kingsville, Texas.
It was in Kingsville that she met Clarence Otis "Willie" Willis. Opal married Clarence in 1944. He served in the United States Navy for 22 years and then worked as a letter carrier. As members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, Opal and Willie served missions to Northern Ireland from 1970 to 1972. They both attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, as did their children Lynette and Phillip. Opal is the author of Leonard Higdon of North Carolina Known Descendants 1755-1986
At right, Opal Willis and Bettina Higdon at the
1982 HFA Meeting in Huntsville, Alabama
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