He was a farm neighbor, friend, and classmate and this picture perfectly depicts his nature - he always greeted you with a grin and a smile...

In Memory of Tom Opperman
Tom passed away Wednesday morning February 2, 2022

Tom Opperman MHS 1975
son of George & May Opperman

1975 MHS graduates: Corine Altenhein, James Lyle Anthony, Bruce E. Antone, Cathleen Susan Arp, Cindy Kay Bilsten, Amy Lu Brotherton, Renee Lee Christensen, Peter Joseph Croghan, Jill Renee Escher (valedictorian), Dean D. Grau, Robbie Charles Grundmeier, Jane Francis Hacker, Thomas A. Handlos, Jeff L. Hargens, Jon Merlin Hass, Peter M. Heinicke, Dale H. Hinners, Liesa Deloris Hinners, Ricky R. Jahn, Bruce L. Jensen, Mark Kenneth Jensen, Kerry Lynn Joens, Christine Ann Kanne, Jan LaRae Karsten, Mary Imelda Kerkhoff, David August Kusel, Brian Charles Lage, Suzanne Renee Long, James Russell Mohr, Lynn Davis Mork, Richard D. Mundt, Carol Ann Musfeldt (salutatorian), Todd Randall Nelson, Debra Kay Nissen, Thomas George Opperman, Marcus dosSantos Paes, Bruce Arlo Pfannkuch, Steven Craig Pfannkuch, Johannes Helmut Plessing, Royce Lynn Ranniger, Sharon Ann Reischl, Mary Lou Rohe, Merlin Rohe, Craig Norman Rothfolk, Mark J. Rowedder, Mildred Jean Saunders, Steve Merritt Sebring, Jeff R. Siepker, Karen Rose Sporrer, Larry Francis Sporrer, Dale Kenneth Stangl, Mark Steven Stangl, Lee A. Stein, Judy Mae Stoberl, Marlys Ann Stoelk, Allen Lowell Stribe, Carol Jean Struve, Ronald E. Venner, William Henry Voge, Cynthia Kay Wanninger, James V. Weitl, William Kenneth Weitl, Kent L. Wiese, LindaLou Bernice Willenborg, Maureen Williams, Karen Marie Witt

1975 former students: Michelle Aiken, Barbara Anthony, Esther Benter, Mary Boell, Cindy Brincks, Jeff Chandler, Lori Dentlinger, Lynn Eich, Carol Espenhover, Donna Gerhardt, Dean Graves, Dennis Graves, Russell Hargens, Robert Iddings, Jerome Irlmeier, Jeanine Klemme, Jeri Ann Kloewer, Timothy Lakers, Pam Marr, Steven Mathisen, Luann Miller, Ricky Mohr, Kelly Poldberg, Martha Robertson, Michael Schiltz, Michael Schlichte, Mark Schwaller, Steve Schwaller, Dyann Sheldon, Brenda Shipps, Linda Wanninger, Paula Warner, Paul Weis

As they say "life isn't fair" and the Opperman family has had more than their fair share with losing family members at a relatively young age and so close together.

Dave Opperman's "celebration of life" December 10, 2016, at the Hansen Halle - Heritage Park.
Tom Opperman - back right

George & May Opperman - our neighbors 3/4 mile to the northwest as the crow flies.
So hard to believe that all three of the triplets are now gone.

Back: Robbie Iddings, Dave Kusel, Bruce Pfannkuch, Tom Opperman
Front: Opperman triplets
Dave Kusel's 1964 birthday party at the Kusel farm
Don Opperman passed away October 26, 2021 - the last of the triplets
Dave Kusel's 1964 birthday party at the Kusel farm

Thomas George Opperman
Thomas George Opperman peacefully passed away on Wednesday, February 2, 2022.

There will only be a private service held at this time and a Celebration of Life will be determined later.

Tom was born on June 29, 1956, in Sioux City, Iowa to George and May (Thomas) Opperman.

He served proudly in the Army for 4 years as a mechanic. After being released from his duties in the army, he continued his great patriotism throughout his life. Tom went to DMACC to become a certified mechanic. He worked as an auto mechanic for many years and was a beloved bus driver for the West Des Moines School District until his retirement.

Tom was married to Rose Marie Thomas on August 17, 1995, in which they had many adventures together. He loved to camp, fish, and always had a story to tell.

Preceding him in death his father George, his son Brian, and his triplet brothers Dave, Doug, and Don.

To keep his memory alive are his loving wife Rose, his daughters Madison, Melissa, & Katie. Also, his stepchildren (but he never liked the word "step") Brian, Michael, and Jay. Tom loved being a grandpa to all his grandbabies. His mother May, his sister Mary, and his brother Mike. He also had numerous nieces, nephews, friends, and extended family that will also keep his spirit alive.

He will truly be missed by numerous family members and friends. He was definitely loved by so many.

Mary Opperman MHS 1972

Don Opperman MHS 1977

Dave Opperman MHS 1977

Doug Opperman MHS 1977

1st Lieutenant George W. Opperman

George was inducted into the Army in March of 1943. He enlisted in Reserve Officers Training Corps his junior year in college and was called to active duty that spring quarter. His basic training was in field artillery and he took Field Artillery Officer Candidate training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, graduating in 1944.
He trained recruits at Fort Bragg, N.C. and then transferred to Armored Forces. He was on a ship to the Philippines when the war ended with Japan. George served a year in the Philippines and came back to the US and was discharged on July 23, 1946.

Opperman cousins in Manning City Park

From the 2006 Manning Quasquicentennial history book

George was born August 23, 1922 on a farm north of Manning. He graduated from Manning High School in 1939 and was all conference football center his senior year, President of Future Farmers of America and Carroll County 4-H club and showed 4-H beef calves at Omaha and Chicago.

George enrolled in Dairy Science and minored in Journalism at Iowa State University in 1940 and joined Farm House Fraternity. He achieved a 3.4 grade average and received his degree from ISU in the spring of 1947. Then he took a job as editor of Brown Swiss Bulletin with the National Brown Swiss Association at Beloit, Wisconsin. It was a wonderful experience for George, but after three years the Iowa farming urge got the best of him and he returned to the farm in Manning.

On June 17, 1944, George married May Thomas from Coon Rapids, his college sweetheart. They moved to a 240-acre farm north of Manning owned by his father, Emil Opperman. They had hogs and beef cattle, but dairy farming with Brown Swiss cows was their major enterprise. George was active in many farm organizations and was president of the Brown Swiss National Association. They added to their family while on the farm: Mary in 1954, Tom in 1956, Don, Dave and Doug in 1958 and Mike in 1968.

In 1981 George was offered and accepted the position as secretary {CEO} of the National Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association of the United States. They moved to Beloit, Wisconsin at that time. George helped develop foreign markets for U.S. Brown Swiss semen and embryos and the Identity Enrollment program. He retired in 1988 but continued as a consultant.

Next George was asked to organize and head the U.S. Dairy Genetics Council by the U.S. Foreign Agriculture Service. All of the U.S. Dairy Associations and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture asked for help to develop foreign markets for their cattle, semen and embryos. Over a six-year period he traveled to fifteen foreign countries. He received a plaque from FAS in appreciation for his service and in April of 1996 he retired.

George worked with the University of Illinois on a book called The Dairy Cow Today and The First 50 Years for the Dairy Shrine, a national organization of which he was also president. George also wrote articles for Hoards Dairyman, a national dairy magazine and for The Draft Horse Journal.

May and George have been active in many community organizations. They have enjoyed traveling around the U.S. and Canada in their fifth wheel camper. Their children have all graduated from college and are gainfully employed. Their son Doug was killed in an automobile accident in 1991. They have seven grandchildren: Mariah and Micah (Mary); Melissa, Brian and Katie (Tom); Maggie and Jack (Mike).

Opperman family - 30th Anniversary of Manning 1911

Opperman family farm home

Back: Hattie Schroeder, John, Hannes, Anna Gebhart
Front: John, Herman, Magdalena (Karstens), William, Tracy Klindt
Herman Opperman died shortly after this picture was taken

Standing: May, George, Jane, Ivan, Betty, Bill, Phyllis
Front: Emil & Mabel (Dietz) Opperman

One of the reasons why I want to scan other family collections is to find pictures of my own family members and also of other Manning people who are not part of those family collections (non-family members) and most of the time are unidentified, but many times I can ID the people or get help with the IDs.
This amazing historically important Manning picture came from the Luetje collection and as I was going through their pictures I jumped when I saw my dad in the picture and could ID many of the other men...this is what makes all of my time and money expended - well worth it...

It shows how generational the connections are with families of the area, especially the Opperman & Kusel connections.

Back 7: Amos Kusel #1, Harold Schroeder #3, George Opperman #7
Middle 7: dark face probably George Kuhse?, hidden face?
Front 3: Alvin Kuhse, Glenn Kuhse, ??

Now we'll go back into time to look at more of the Opperman family history...
This next SUPER AMAZING historical Manning picture came from the Bernice (Karstens) Schroeder collection I scanned.

??, ??, Herman Opperman, Emil Opperman, Henry Kruse
Emil was father of George, Ivan, Bill & Jane.
Henry was grandfather of Tim & Bary Kienast.
Virgene (Kruse) Kroeger, daughter of Henry, told me that her dad got overseas during WWI but when he got there the war was over.
Henry's children: Virgene Kroeger, Neva Hinners, Genelle Kienast

Battle of Wauhatchie - WWI Soldiers
"Umbrella Rock" at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

The Battle of Wauhatchie was fought October 28-29, 1863, in Hamilton and Marion Counties, Tennessee, and Dade County, Georgia, in the American Civil War. A Union force had seized Brown's Ferry on the Tennessee River, opening a supply line to the Union army in Chattanooga. Confederate forces attempted to dislodge the Union force defending the ferry and again close this supply line but were defeated. Wauhatchie was one of the few night battles of the Civil War.

Emil Opperman, WWI
This is what the above picture looked like before digitally adjusting the contrast/brightness...nothing perfect but better than the original...

Emil Opperman, WWI

Mabel Opperman, 1953 Legion Auxiliary president

Emil & Mabel Opperman

Back: Emil Opperman, Rudolph Opperman
Front: Lena (Opperman) Ranniger, Mamie (Opperman) Schmidt

Ninth Grade Graduation

Back: Gerald Struve, Alvin Musfeldt, Eunice Wiese, Elaine Schroeder, May Delle Ranniger, Doris Wailes, Marian Frahm, Ledger Free, Marilyn Anderson, Kenneth Esser, Marie Kleespies, Arlene Friedrichsen, Louise Schrum, Ben Myatt, Justice Hockett, Vernon Joens, Glen Jensen, Dewey Pfoltner
Third: Jerome Aga (Jr High Principal), Merlin Welch, Merlin Beese, Russell Lathrop, George Opperman, Harold Reinke, Eugene Mersman, Roy Schroeder, Melvin Musfeldt, Elroy Ranniger, Raymond Joens, Malcom Van Dyke, Ken Mohr, Russell Wiley, Orland Joens, Duane Bartels, Ed Lynn (teacher)
Second: Rhea Fritz, Darlene Stoelk, Nellie Farrell, Louise Ossenkop, Ruth Kuhn, Phyllis Stribe, Joyce Thompson, Doris Reinhold, Helen Musfeldt, Dorothy Sutherland, Luella Schade, Dorothy Petersen, Jeanette Stangl, Helen Mentzer, Eunice Eckholdt, Jane McEnany
Front: Raymond Kasperbauer, Virgil Bueltel, Wayne Kuhse, Fred Beese, Robert Musfeldt, Merlin Musfeldt, Farryle Waters, Roy Schoening

FFA basketball
Back: Coach Bill Campbell, Merlin Musfeldt, Kenneth Keat, Gerhardt Voge, Merlin “Buzz” Hargens, Wayne Kuhse
Front Row: Robert Kuhse, Merlin Welch, Orland Joens, George Opperman, Duane Bartels, Gene Strathman

1938 football team

Back: Coach Gordon Winlock, Raymond Thompson, Merlin Struve, Gerald Struve, Burdette Schroeder, Dick Ohm, Jim Rowedder, Elvin McConnell, Coach John Hall
Second: Merlin Welch, Frank Bliefert, Robert Kruse, Duane Bartels, Russell Wiley, Wayne Accola, Labert “Bud” Stahl
Front Row: Wayne "Pedro" Schrum, Melvin Kusel, Lyle Arp, George Opperman, Harold Nickum, Francis Zerwas, ??

April 6, 1939 Future Farmers To Stage 3 Skits
Shown above are several of the characters in the three short plays to be presented by members of the Vocational Agriculture group at the high school auditorium, tonight Thursday, April 6th.
All parts will be taken by boys. The plays selected are "His First Shave," "Be Home By Midnight" and "A Bachelor's Baby." Mr. William B. Campbell is assisted in directing the plays by Miss Gladys Bauman and Miss. Rosemary Gleason.
Short skits will be on the program between acts.
Funds derived from this entertainment will be used to defray transportation expenses for the vocational group to attend the state convention at Ames.
Shown, left to right, are George Opperman as Miss Smithers, still looking for a man; Merlin Welch as Ma Jones, worried sick about Junior; Glen Jensen as Junior; Elvin McConnell as Derek; and Bob Bonnesen and Herbert Hansen as "Dynamite" and "Moses."

George Opperman - black arrow

July 27, 1939 F.F.A. Tour Shows Results Of Ag Students' Endeavors
Over Sixty Persons In Group Which Visited Local Projects
Over sixty Dads and sons plus other interested parties made up the twelve car caravan which Sunday completed a circuit of Future Farmers of America projects in this vicinity. The route included in Sunday morning's tour was only a part of the projects which are being carried on, another tour in a week or so will complete the visiting program.

The F.F.A. is a national organization of boys under 21 years of age. William B. Campbell, head of the Manning Vocational Agriculture Department is sponsor of the local organization, made up of high school students and those who have graduated in the last year or so. These students are required to establish livestock or farm produce projects as a part of their work. These various projects were the subject of interest for the organization members and their fathers in Sunday's tour. The visits to the several farms clearly showed the outstanding work accomplished by these students who carry on their projects systematically and by proven methods. Records covering all feed data, costs etc. are maintained by the boys so that actual cost of production will be known and margin of profit established upon marketing.

The caravan stopped first at the Herman Hargens' home at the south edge of the city where the F.F.A. unit's own project is carried on. The class borrowed $100 to start it. They now have 20 market pigs, consisting of two litters, averaging 130 pounds. To date they have $64.00 in their project. They are able to keep a very accurate account of all expenses due to the fact that all feeds, Mineral etc. are bought at market prices.

The next stop was at the Jack Keat farm where his son Kenneth exhibited 27 fine pigs averaging 145 pounds, farrowed March 1st. In the beginning Kenneth had three sows and predicted he would have 27 pigs. He did. He predicts he will clear about $162 on his project and he probably will.

Glen "Red" Struve, son of George Struve, was the next stop. Glen showed three fine Shorthorn market steers from the George Struve and Sons purebred herd. The visitors could well have spent half a day looking over the fine herd but lack of time made it impossible to witness all of the fine animals now being prepared for showing at the leading fairs and expositions. Glen intends to show his steers at the State Fair, at Westside, Carroll and other fairs.

Glen also showed a litter of 6 Chester White purebred pigs, 150 days old and averaging 185 lbs. They were some of the best ham sandwiches on the hoof, witnessed on the day's trip. His records show that to date he has $6 a head in this project. Another project of his consists of two litters of market pigs, self fed and on clean ground.

Roger and Lyle Eich exhibited their hybrid seed corn project. These lads purchased 2 single crosses after being bred up for 10 years or so and their final cross makes a 4-way cross. These two boys also showed their purebred Duroc-Jersey hog exhibit. They realized 15 pigs out of one sow, having used a substitute sow for 6 of the number. Their display showed an ideal system of self feeding.

Alvan Hansen's project was the next stop and the group saw two fine Black Angus steers. Alvin paid about $65 each for them, and stated that they consumed from 24 to 26 pounds of feed a day apiece. One of the steers shows good prospects for exhibiting by Ak-Sar-Ben time A litter of 9 Spotted Poland China pigs was shown by Gene Strathman. These pigs were farrowed March 24th and will average 90 pounds or better.

Ivan Opperman and George Opperman showed 2 Shorthorn steers averaging 830 pounds and four Hereford steers. George also has a Spotted Poland China project, on clean ground and featuring self feeding.

The next stop was at the Herman Lage home to see Wesley Lage's litter of 9. These pigs were Lage's purebred Spotted Poland farrowed April 20th and will average 90 pounds or better.

Bob Kruse exhibited one of the best set-ups of the day. He has his litter of 9 on clean ground, has self-feeding, temporary shelter, etc. He has $43 in his project to date and his fine looking pigs will average 115-120 pounds.

Billy Meggers, a freshman student showed two fine litters of 13 Hampshire market pigs, averaging about 110 pounds. They farrowed March 19th and to date he has $25 in them. He has them on clean ground and feeds corn, soybeans, and some mineral.

A market litter of 8, farrowed March 28th, was shown by Virgil Bueltel. These pigs will average close to 100 pounds. He has his pigs on clean ground and they are self-feeders. He had one of his father's (Frank) sows to begin with.

Glen Jensen, a graduate of this year's class at Manning, was the last stopping place for the caravan. He showed a fine litter of 9 Hampshire pigs, farrowed March 25th, averaging 100 pounds. He has $26.00 in his project to date. He has the litter on clean ground, feeds corn, tankage and the other requirements.

The tour continued to the city park where a basket dinner was enjoyed by the group. Following the dinner a kittenball game between the fathers and sons was staged with the fathers winning 17 to 11 in an overtime battle.

The remainder of the projects, most of them south of town will be visited in another tour in the near future according to Mr. Campbell.

A few excerpts from George Opperman's "Bye George"
There is a copy in the Manning Library

Bye George

Back to Dave Kusel's main page