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Obituary - Opal Ida Cavenar Moody

A Celebration of the life of a Beautiful Christian Woman

Opal Ida Cavenar Moody, a native of Independence County, was born on November 14, 1913, at Cave Creek in Batesville. She was taken to heaven to be with the Lord at the Harton Regional Medical Center in Tullahoma, Tennessee, on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 7:20 p.m. at the age of 94 years, 10 months and 16 days.

Opal Moody was the youngest of six children born to Shadrach Elijah and Martha Ida Cox Cavenar. All of the family preceded Mrs. Moody in death. Her siblings included Charlie Cavenar, Herbert Cavenar, Willie Cavenar, Jewel Cavenar Hicks and Jesse Cavenar.

Opal Moody graduated from Batesville High School, attended Arkansas College, obtained a teacher’s license and taught school at Floral. She worked for Barnett Brothers Annex and attended Business School. Mrs. Moody obtained a Real Estate License and became a successful businesswoman.

Opal Moody met her husband, Lackey Wilson Moody, at Central Avenue United Methodist Church where they were both Sunday School superintendents. They married on April 1, 1943, and enjoyed 46 years of marriage until Mr. Moody’s death in 1989. Working together, Mr. & Mrs. Moody built a successful Real Estate office for United Farm Agency. They sold one hundred farms in one year’s time. Later, Mr. Moody became the State Manager over other Real Estate offices. Mrs. Moody operated the office for her husband, kept books, and reared her family.

Mr. & Mrs. Moody bought and sold several banks and loaning institutions in Arkansas. They became part of the founders of the Citizens Bank of Batesville of which Mrs. Moody was a major stockholder.
Opal Moody was a jolly, happy, peaceful, progressive lady who did her talking with her sparkling blue eyes. She looked to the future and planned for the future. With a smile for everyone, Opal Moody loved to travel and meet people. She loved the Lord, her family, her friends, her dog, and her houses.

From early experiences with plow horses and mules, Opal Moody chopped and hoed corn with her brothers. She sold chickens and eggs for school money. Later she and her husband raised registered polled Herefords and horses. They were the first people in Batesville to introduce the Tennessee Walking Horse in 1956 to the area.

Opal Moody always smiled and loved to watch her Tennessee Walking Horses work in the barn and in the show ring. She dreamed of owning a World Champion stallion. Due to this dream, Mrs. Moody formed the O & W Moody Limited Company for her horses which were shown throughout the south with many blue ribbons to their credit. Some of the World Champion’s include Moody Star; Blues; Foolish Dollar; and Escalade.
In 2007, Opal Moody was inducted into the Mid-South Horse Show Association Hall of Fame. She was honored when the 2006 Walking Horse Year in Review leather bound book was dedicated to her as Owner of the Year.
Activities enjoyed by Opal Moody included music, dancing, playing the piano, sewing and cooking. She liked to read and work crossword puzzles. In earlier years, Mrs. Moody was active in the Boy Scouts as a den mother and was a Girl Scout leader for 20 years. She was also active in the Democrat party and the Women’s Democrat Party Club. Mrs. Moody is a member of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeder’s and Exhibitors Association; the Walking Horse Owner’s Association; and the Mid-South Horse Show Association.

Opal Moody loved her church and was a lifetime member and the oldest member of Central Avenue United Methodist Church. She worked whenever she was needed in church such as teaching Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and working with the children and youth. For over 20 years, Mrs. Moody was a kitchen coordinator for Wednesday night potlucks and Bible studies.

Opal Moody is survived by her children: Miss Opal Wilsene Moody of Batesville, Arkansas and Shelbyville, Tennessee; Mrs. Martha Ann Moody Lewallen of Batesville, Arkansas; and Dr. Lackey Gene Moody of Batesville.
Opal Moody has five grandchildren: Mrs. Lucy Deann Lewallen Castleberry of Batesville, Arkansas; Ms. Ronda Annetta Lewallen of Springdale, Arkansas; Archie Wilson Lewallen of Batesville, Arkansas; Dr. Melody Lynn Moody of Batesville, Arkansas; and Lackey Gene Moody, Jr. of Batesville, Arkansas. Her great-grandchildren include the twins, Kate and Lackey Gene Moody III of Batesville.

Opal Moody is also survived by her caretaker, Mrs. Dollie Brown of Collierville, Tennessee and her companion poodle dog, Smokey Blues.

Visitation will be Friday at 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Central Avenue United Methodist Church in Batesville.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday at the Central Avenue United Methodist Church at 1205 North Central Avenue. Interment will follow at Oaklawn Cemetery with arrangements by Roller-Crouch Funeral Home.
Pallbearers include Bill Walmsley, Charles Barnett, Ted Hyslip, Mike Collins, R. L. Sheffield, Jackie McConnell, Dr. Mark Akins, Larry Parnell and Jack Engles.

Honorary pallbearers Dr. Tony Kimmons, Frank Mosley, Robert Kilgore, Jack Heffington, Christy Howard, Jim Pickering, Judge Norman Harkey, Houston Gordon, David Wilson, Coleman Westbrook, members of the Omega Sunday School Class, the Spares and Pairs Sunday School Class and directors and employees of the Citizens Bank.

Visitation with the family and friends will follow the interment at the Family Life Center at the Central Avenue United Methodist Church.

Memorials may be made to Central Avenue United Methodist Church, 1205 N. Central Avenue, Batesville, AR 72501; First United Methodist Church, PO Box 184, Shelbyville, TN 37162; Walking Horse Trainer’s Association, 1101 N. Main Street, Shelbyville, TN 37160; Tennessee Walking Horse Breeder’s and Exhibitor’s Association, PO Box 286, Lewisburg, TN 37091; or the American Heart Association, 909 W. Second Street, Little Rock, AR 72201


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