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Opal LoBianco
(07-17-1921 - 09-09-2020)

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Opal LoBianco, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother went to be with the Lord on Wednesday evening, September 9th, 2020, at the young-at-heart age of 99. It is hard to capture in a few paragraphs the joy, love, and laughter that she shared with all those who knew her, but we will try.
Opal was born July 17th, 1921, the fourth of six children born to Etta and Sidney Reed of Ridgefield, Illinois. She was the last surviving sibling of her 4 sisters and 1 brother.
As a child, Opal would practice the piano to avoid gardening and other household chores. As you can imagine, she became quite the pianist and could play just about any tune by ear! Opal went to grade school in a one-room schoolhouse where her cousin was the teacher. She graduated from Crystal Lake High School in 1940.
Within a year of graduation, she met a handsome Italian named Don LoBianco. These soulmates were married on November 15, 1941, Don’s 22nd birthday. They were married for almost 65 years until Don’s passing in 2006.
They were members of the Greatest Generation, living through both the Great Depression and World War II with a spirit of optimism, hard work, and a love of family, friends, and music. In challenging and uncertain times, Opal was always incredibly resilient and strong which came from her sincere faith knowing where her hope and confidence came from - in Christ alone. We all knew her life verse was Jeremiah 29:11 as she would quote it to us often as an encouragement.
A natural saleswoman, Opal began her career as a girl going from door to door in Ridgefield selling Cloverine Salve. As a young housewife and mother, she sold silverware and eventually made her way into real estate, becoming one of the first women sales agents in Elgin.
By the 1960s, she got her broker’s license and opened her own office – Opal LoBianco Real Estate. Her red, white, and blue “For Sale” signs could be seen throughout Elgin from the late 60s into the 80s. Her grandchildren learned professional courtesy and phone etiquette by answering her telephone, “Opal LoBianco Real Estate, how can I help you?”
Opal made friends wherever she went, and once you were her friend, she was your friend for life. She always had an open front door and a hot pot of coffee ready just in case any friends would stop by. She lived by the motto “Sit long, Talk Much, Laugh Often”. And, if you were single, she would take great joy in trying to matchmake you to someone perfect. Many couples have Opal to thank for their lifetime loves.
Opal and Don were active members of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Elgin since the late 1940s after a neighbor lady offered to take their daughter, Donna, to Sunday School. After that, the family was in church “whenever the doors were open,” and many church friends have become life-long friends.
After Don retired in 1981, Don and Opal became “snowbirds” in St. Petersburg, Florida where they would winter with friends. Their condo was always an open bed and breakfast to family and friends.
In retirement, Opal became an active bingo player – often playing 20 cards at a time. She also loved word searches to keep her mind sharp. Always a game player, she taught her grandkids how to play pinochle when they were just old enough to hold cards.
In 2017, Opal made her home at the Greens of Elgin where she enjoyed making new friends. You could find her in the game room every afternoon and evening playing cards with her friends.
Opal will be greatly missed by her many friends and family, including her two children: Donna (Andrew) Danielson and John (Mary) LoBianco; her four grandchildren: Jeffrey (Laura) Kvistad, Jennifer (John) Gomoll, Jennine Schabb, and Jill (Bela) Bartalis; and her nine great-grandchildren: Abby, Kyle, Anna, & Jonathan Kvistad, Trevor & Colton Gomoll, Madison & Michelle Schabb, and Maria Bartalis.
To Opal’s many friends and family, we invite you to view her service and join in the celebration of her life on Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 11:00 AM on Facebook at Laird Family Funeral Services. Due to the coronavirus and out of love & concern for the wellbeing of her family, the in-person service is private and limited to immediate family only. Thank you in advance for honoring this request.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to honor Opal’s memory to Moody Radio, which Opal and Don enjoyed listening to throughout their lives, or to Evangelical Covenant Church designated for Covenant Women who serve so very faithfully. Laird Funeral Home, Elgin 847-741-8800 or www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com.

To find us on Facebook, you can search on the Facbook app: Laird Family Funeral Services, once on the site, there will be a tab to open for the Opal LoBianco Service, we will start broadcasting appromimately 10 minutes prior to the service starting, that is when the tab will appear. If you have any questions please call the funeral home.  
 

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