Don Eugene Odell
Don Eugene Odell, of Wenatchee, WA, died at home of natural causes on Friday, December 27, 2013, at the age of 92. He was born in Bellingham, WA to Rex E. Odell and Bertha Beatrice (Bornstein) Odell and was an only child. The family moved to Monitor, WA, where he attended elementary school. He graduated from Cashmere High School and from Wenatchee Business College. Don married Virginia Elaine Barnes (deceased) in 1940, and they soon moved to Rock Island, WA. Don served in the U.S. Army during WWII in the Pacific Theater. He received an honorable discharge and returned to the Wenatchee Valley. Don secured a job with Puget Sound Power & Light at Rock Island Dam, which was later purchased by Chelan County PUD. He continued with the PUD as a Hydro-Mechanic, working at the Rocky Reach, Rock Island and Stehekin power plants. He retired in 1982, having worked 36 years. Very active in the Rock Island community, Don was a local businessman, owning and operating Rock Island’s only gas station/repair shop for many years. He also provided Rock Island’s first trash service and operated seasonal fruit stands in the Tumwater Canyon. Being civic-minded, he served several terms on the city council and was an active member of the Douglas County Volunteer Fire Department for many years.
Don is survived by his four children and their spouses: Mike and Kelly Odell of Colorado Springs, CO, Dennis and Phyllis Odell of Wenatchee, WA, Kathleen and Dennis Johnson of Lynnwood, WA, and Eileen Odell and Scott Bode of Boise, ID; seven grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by the step-children of his marriage to Betty Russell Odell (deceased): Nancy Focht and Jim Russell, both of Wenatchee, WA, and Blaine Russell of Cadillac, MI; and their children and grandchildren.
Don loved to sing and was in a barbershop quartet, sang at community events and in local piano bars. He would break out in song at the slightest provocation and enjoyed singing at the YWCA’s Cafe; AZ on open mic night. He opened with, “Hi, I’m Don and I’m a mic-aholic.” Don enjoyed gardening, camping, fishing and tinkering, but his passion was for automobiles, owning a great and eclectic variety over the years. He believed anything and everything could be recycled or composted. In retirement, he knitted hundreds of warm hats for those needing protection from cold winters and ran a non-stop garage sale - buying and selling. He gave generously to individuals and supported many charities, including his favorites, Habitat for Humanity and Lighthouse Mission. Don was artistic and creative and his paintings on vintage saws, cast iron skillets and horseshoes are displayed proudly by friends and family.
Don/Dad/Grandpa: We will miss your excellent sense of humor (even the incessant punning!), your remarkable ingenuity and creativity, and your amazing example of perseverance, despite the difficulties of age. You demonstrated and instilled an incredible work ethic in each of your children that has aided us throughout our individual life pursuits. You gave us a sense that, through hard work, anything can be achieved. Thank you. We love you.
The Memorial Service will be held Saturday, January 4, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at Telford’s Chapel of the Valley, 711 Grant Road, East Wenatchee. This will be preceded by a Private Burial Service. Arrangements by Telford’s Chapel of the Valley, East Wenatchee.