Stephenville resident Opal Wright Belcher Grimland is gearing up to celebrate her 100th birthday.
Grimland was born in Woodson on Dec. 12, 1919 and was one of 14 children born to James Keaton and Dilla Shaw Wright. She has three sisters, (91, 93, 96) and one brother (89) still living. She has resided in Texas her entire life.
She married her first husband, Dewey Belcher in 1942 and they had three children, John Jr., Wynnell and Joe, all of whom were raised in Stephenville.
Grimland has worked at numerous jobs, but for her first job, she worked as a bookkeeper for her husband’s service stations, Humble and Gulf Oil companies and she worked there for 44 years. Following her husband’s death in 1974, she was selected by Gulf Corporation to be the first female gulf distributor in the U.S.
Following her years with Gulf, she was involved with several other businesses. She worked with Mary Kay Cosmetics from 1977-1981, she was the owner of Mode ODay dress shop from 1967-1970 and she was also a distributor for Happy Feet shoes based in Corona, California.
“I enjoyed selling Mary Kay,” she said.
Grimland and her second husband, Yern Grimland, built, owned and operated Shady Oaks Mobile Home Park in Stephenville.
Opal has a long history of service to her community. She was chairman of the Stephenville Heart Fund, a charter member of Zonta Club International serving one term as president, a member of the first Senior Citizens Board of Directors, PTA president, a member of the First Baptist Church, was involved in Boy and Girl Scouts and was a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority.
Early in her life she trained to be a nurse, eventually working for Dr. Tom Gordon in Stephenville. She worked as an aide at Stephenville Nursing Home at the age of 88. She also worked at Home Sweet Home, assisted living and as an in-home aide. She continued as an in-home aide until her mid 90s.
“I love nursing, helping people in pain. It was just something I liked to do. I loved doing things for other people and the businesses I was in. I like helping other people,” she said.
Grimland has 10 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
She currently resides at Mulberry Manor.
“I’m well taken care of. I know I’m old,” she said with a laugh. “But I feel accomplished that I’ve lived this long. I’ve done a lot of things in my life.”