Obituary of Opal Lee Rainey
January 1, 1941 – July 1, 2019
Opal Lee Rainey. Age 78 of Romulus.
Loving mother of Joseph Rainey, Anthony (Tessie) Rainey, Cindy White and the late Timothy Rainey. Dearest grandmother of Joseph, Steven, Jessica, Maya and Adam. Also survived 5 great grandchildren. Also preceded in death by grandson Andrew Miron.
It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our mother, Opal Lee Rainey. A loving mother, daughter, sister, and dedicated caregiver, Opal was 78 years old when she peacefully passed in her sleep and transitioned to her reward in heaven. She was passionately devoted to her children, grandchildren, family, church, and God and did all in her power to give them the best of herself.
Born Opal Lee Ford in the company town of Black Diamond near Clairfield Tennessee, she was a proud coal miner’s daughter. At a young age, she and her family came North and settled in Flat Rock Michigan where she graduated from Flat Rock High School in 1958. In 1961 she married Elzie Rainey and soon welcomed her children Joseph, Anthony, Cynthia, and Timothy into the world. She and her family later moved to Romulus, where she created a loving home and settled for the remainder of her years.
Opal was a very active person, and no moss ever grew under her feet. She always kept busy and in the 1970s went to Wayne State Community College and obtained her CNA degree. With her degree, she spent many years caring for others at nursing homes and as a private nurses aide. Later, she worked for the Taylor School District from which she proudly retired with many accolades for being an ideal employee. Though she tried living a slower and quiet life, boredom soon got the best of her, and she worked again as a private caregiver until her parents became ill. She then cared for her parents, her sons Timothy (who precedes her in death), and Joseph until she became sick herself.
Opal loved holidays and family get-togethers; any chance to spend time with her family was important to her. She would spend hours cooking and preparing for her company. Traveling was another passion that she much enjoyed. Opal often traveled “back home” to the Smokey Mountains, took a trip to California and back appreciating the vast expanse of America, went on ski trips to Colorado, visited much of New England, accompanied her family to Disney World many times and became known as Disney Grandma. Though born a small-town girl, Opal loved visiting New York City and was fascinated by the people and the hustle and bustle. She stood on top of the World Trade Center’s South Tower two months before it fell on 9/11 and returned two weeks after to walk with her son in the ashes of lower Manhattan. New York was the last trip she took in June of 2018 when she attended her Granddaughter Maya’s graduation, proudly climbed the observation tower at Bear Mountain State Park, visited West Point Military Academy, and in honor of 9/11, once again ascended to the top of the WTC’s new Freedom Tower.
Her daughter Cynthia and son Joseph lovingly cared for her the last months of her life. Dawn Chesny and Tanya Williams of The Care Team Hospice also provided compassionate care to ensure that Opal’s last days were comfortable and dignified. The family gives them and everyone else who cared for Opal our greatest and warmest gratitude.
Opal lived her life with joy, grace, humility, enjoyed laughter, and asked that we all laugh more and celebrate the life she lived here and the life she now lives with her heavenly family.