Cover photo for Opal Christesson's Obituary
Opal Christesson Profile Photo
1925 Opal 2020

Opal Christesson

September 23, 1925 — April 28, 2020

Opal Esther Thrash-Christesson, 94 of Melrose passed away on April 28, 2020 at her home in Melrose, New Mexico.  Opal was born at the home of her parents, Mazie Myrtle Jones-Thrash and Albert Henry Thrash on September 23, 1925 in Odell, Texas.  She attended and graduated from Odell Schools in 1943.  She met Phineas Paul (Buddie) Christesson while visiting family near Melrose, NM in 1945.  They were married on March 30, 1946 in Odell, Texas.  They moved to Melrose later that year and began farming and ranching, a choice that would last throughout both of their lives.

Opal was a dedicated farm and ranch wife and remained engaged in supporting the family business in any way possible.  She possessed a multitude of talents and enjoyed engaging in many different creative endeavors.  She was an avid bowler and competed in the Wednesday Morning Coffee League for several decades.  She tooled leathercraft and was known throughout the area for the quality of her finished leathercraft.  Although she was also a gifted seamstress for her family, after she decided to no longer create leather crafted finished work, she became much more engaged in making quilts.  She made well over 200 quilts over her lifetime and was recognized as a gifted artist of the area by Clovis Community College when they featured her most creative quilts displaying them in the Windows Art Gallery on the campus shortly after the turn of the century.  She was also actively committed to participating in quilting with others at the Melrose Senior Center working on quilts that were eventually used for fund raisers for the operation of the facility.  She gifted and donated many quilts to those she loved and to support the people of the Melrose area.  The patrons and personnel of the Senior Center and most others who knew her voiced their fondness for her frequently and some went so far as to say she was “everyone’s grandmother”.   She was committed to bringing comfort, peace and joy to those she loved and she loved everyone.  She believed we each bloom where we are planted and sought to fortify and serve those in her presence as a means of seeking to do her best to tend the social garden of her lifetime.

Opal was preceded in death by her husband, Buddie Christesson in 2000, her parents Albert and Mazie Thrash, brothers Clay, Kinks, Fritz and BB Thrash, a sister Essie May Preston and numerous nieces and nephews.

Opal is survived by her children Trina (Jim) McMahan, Larry Christesson, Terry Christesson and Kim (John) Stallard.  She is survived by grandchildren including Kerri (Rex) Baum, Kim McClusky-Polus, Heather McClusky-Hetherington. Amanda Christesson-Graham, Marcus Christesson, Candace Morrison, Tanner Christesson, Teral Christesson, Rawley Stallard and Brody Stallard.  She is also survived by great grandchildren Rachel, Hannah and Daniel Polus, Zachery, Emily, Ray and Beth Baum, Emalee and Jackson Graham, Haley Christesson, Kalyn and Rylan Morrison and three great-great grandchildren.

Honorary pallbearers are Marvin Estes, Lon Sultemeier, Johnny Lay, Johnny Pack, Johnathan Ingram, Barry Allen, Raymond Copeland, Robert Preston, Tommy Thrash, Dennis and Dena Dodd and the members of The Melrose Church of Christ.

Visitation for Opal Christesson will be held Thursday, April 30, 2020, from 9:00am to 3:45pm at Steed Todd funeral home. Due to covid-19 mandates, Steed Todd Funeral Home will allow 2 people in and out at a time, for this visitation. Graveside services will be held at Melrose cemetery on Friday, May, 1, 2020 for immediate family. A memorial service for the public, honoring miss Opal will be held at a later date.

Contributions in lieu of flowers as memorials may be made to the Melrose Cemetery Fund or The Melrose Church of Christ.  The family wishes to express thanks to Dr. Jack Vick and all personnel at the DeBaca Family Practice Clinic, the professional and support staff of Kindred Hospice (Staci, Tabitha, Jan, Norma, Erin and Shelly) and our deepest gratitude to Velma Gerlach and Wanda Madero.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Opal Christesson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, April 30, 2020

9:00am - 3:45 pm (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Friday, May 1, 2020

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Melrose Cemetery

, Melrose, NM 88124

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