ISHPEMING, MI – Opal Giroux, age 76, longtime Ishpeming resident, passed away on Friday, January 19, 2018 at the Yuma Regional Medical Center in Yuma, AZ with her husband Joseph and her three sons at her side.
Opal was born January 28, 1941 in Hamilton Alabama to the late Victor and Rosa (Carter) Jeffreys. In 1952 her family moved to Missouri and in 1955 they moved to Onsted Michigan where she graduated from Onsted High School in 1959. She was married to Joseph Albert Giroux in Onsted on November 22, 1963. Opal attended Sienna Heights College in Adrian, Freed Hardeman College, and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Public Health Education from Northern Michigan University in 1981.
Opal’s working career was centered around service to others. She spent 15 years in public health service at the county and state level and 18 years in public housing and was honored to serve on several local and state boards for each of these programs.
Opal worked for the State of Michigan Health Department in Adrian, Bay City and Marquette. She worked at the Marquette County Health Department from 1977 to 1986. Opal served as the Executive Director of the Ishpeming Housing Commission from 1986 to 2004 where she assisted countless families and their loved ones find quality housing and live comfortably. Opal and her family were involved with Youth for Understanding Student Exchange for 25 years where she served as Area Coordinator. She coordinated tours to New York and Washington DC for these students for 23 years. Her family was blessed to host over 30 international students, several of whom remain very special to her family to this day. Opal served on the Board of Education for Ishpeming Public Schools from 1993 to 2004.
More recently Opal and Joe traveled about the USA, seeing places that they read about, meeting new people and making great friends. Opal and Joe were the host campers and worked at several of the campgrounds at which they stayed, including the Country Village Campground in Ishpeming and Yuma Lakes Campground. Opal’s hobbies included quilting, scrapbooking, card making and needle point.
Opal is survived by her husband Joseph Giroux, three sons: J. Michael (Tanya) Giroux of Ishpeming, Jeff (Anne) Giroux of Ishpeming and Jim (Carol) Giroux of Highland Lakes, NJ, a brother Hollis (Willow) Jeffreys of Brooklyn, MI, 8 grandchildren: Taylor, Tanner, Spencer, Levi, Joseph, Angela, Nate and Elise Giroux. She is also survived by a special niece Amber Bottoms, along with nieces and nephews: John and Tyler Jeffreys, Michelle Bickerstaff, Amanda Powell, Alisa Risner, Nate, Brian, Jason, Kevin, and Timothy Giroux, Laura Suchman, and Tammy Ironside. Opal was preceded in death by her parents and a brother Timothy John Jeffreys.
Opal’s family will greet relatives and friends from 2:00-4:00 pm on Sunday January 28, 2018 at the Bjork and Zhulkie Funeral Home where a memorial service will be held at 4:00 pm with Rev. D. Michael Carriere officiating.
A luncheon will follow at River Rock Lanes in Ishpeming following the service.
Opal’s obituary may be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.