Ernest Opp

Bethalto |

Ernest "Pinky" Opp, age 84, passed away at 7:00 am, Friday, September 04, 2009 at his home with his family by his side.

He was born in Good Hope, IL on November 9, 1924, and raised in Bushnell, IL.

He married Doris (Goddard) Opp on December 26, 1948 in Macomb, IL, Celebrating 58 years together.

Pinky attended U of I and was a graduate of Western, IL in 1949. He was a submariner in WWII. He taught in Havana and Bethalto school districts, Lewis and Clark and Belleville area Colleges and the St. Louis Regional Airport. He gave the freedom of flight to thousands in the metro area through his student plane rides, flight instructions and his aerobatic shows. He gave the joy of music and history to thousands more though his band and choral performances with the CM Band and Chorus and the Old Timers. He shared his love of boating and sailing with hundreds from Alton, IL to the Florida Keys and his loved of motorcycles with friends from cost to cost.

He was loved by many and survived by his four children and their spouses, Sharon Opp of 532 Shellview Dr. in Bethalto, Austin and Marg Opp of 326 E. Central in Bethalto, LaVeta and Kevin Kirby of 222 Parkside Ln., Oswego, IL and Irene Opp of 4416 LaClede Ave in St. Louis; 11 grandchildren, Brandon and Lizz Tinker, Ashleigh and Tim Peterson, Anthony and Fawn Tinker, Kathleen, Jim and Jessica Kirby-Butts, Todd, Ty and Corrie, Sam and Melanie and Ross Laux, Chris and Wendy Webster and Jared and Jen Watson and 7 great grandchildren.

Pinky was a lifetime member of Rotary, the Masonic Lodge, VFW, Experimental Aircraft, IL Pilots, Aerobatic Pilots, Western IL Alumni, Young Eagles and the St. Louis Aero Club.

Memorials Donations may be made to any of the above organizations.

A wake will be held at a later date. We will remember him for his poetic singing of
"Smile and the World Smiles with You."

Online condolences and guestbook can be found at

Obit Provided By:
Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home

Print Version

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