Cover photo for Earl L. Opheim's Obituary
Earl L. Opheim Profile Photo
1926 Earl 2021

Earl L. Opheim

January 13, 1926 — September 23, 2021

Earl L. Opheim, 95, of Mason City passed away Thursday, September 23, 2021 at MercyOne North Iowa Hospice Unit in Mason City.

A memorial service will be held 10 a.m., Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at First Presbyterian Church in Mason City with Rev. Paul Collier officiating. The service will be livestreamed on the Major Erickson Funeral Home Facebook page. Inurnment will be at Memorial Park Cemetery with military rites by the Mason City Veterans Association.

A memorial visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday, September 27th at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Mason City.

Memorials may be directed to First Presbyterian Church, MercyOne North Iowa Hospice, Good Shepherd Health Center or to the Education Foundation of the Mason City Public Schools.

Earl Leslie Opheim, the son of Carl and Selma (Sween) Opheim, was born January 13, 1926 at Ottosen, Iowa. He graduated from Bode High School in 1943. Earl served his country in the U.S. Navy during WW II as a Radioman 3rd Class. Upon his honorable discharge he was awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star and two Bronze Stars. Earl continued his education at Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI) where he graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in teaching. He received his Master of Arts degree in 1952 from Colorado State College of Education. On May 22, 1949 he married Shirley Surfus at Dumont, IA. Earl was a teacher and coach at Franklin Consolidated School now CAL Community Schools for 6 years. His girls’ basketball teams excelled during those years. He then moved to Mason City where he was a business teacher and counselor at Monroe Junior High for 30 years and three years at John Adams Junior High retiring in 1988. Earl also coached junior high sports in Mason City for many years and assisted Elmer Starr with high school and legion baseball. He enjoyed golfing, traveling and watching high school sports.

He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Mason City, Iowa State Education Association, National Education Association, Mason City American Legion, Mason City VFW and was a lifetime alumni member of UNI.

Earl is survived by his son, Alan (Joni) Opheim of Iowa City, IA; daughter, Janice (Richard) Evans of Windsor Heights, IA; three grandchildren, Ashley Opheim of Newton, IA, Britney Opheim of Cedar Falls, IA and Nathan Opheim of Altoona, IA; a brother, Wayne Opheim of Bloomington, MN; a sister-in-law, Diane Surfus of Eden Prairie, MN; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 70 years, Shirley Opheim; sisters, Laila Wilson, Velma Johnson, Doris Chantland, Orpha Johnson, Marion Helvick, Aggie Berge and Barbara Johnson; and a brother, Keith Opheim.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Earl L. Opheim, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, September 27, 2021

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

First Presbyterian Church

100 S. Pierce, Mason City, IA 50401

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Memorial Park Cemetery - Mason City


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