Walter Earl Odom passed away July 26, 2020, in Eugene, Oregon. He was 88 years old.
Walt was born at home, June 6, 1932, to Carson and Virginia Odom in Dallas, Oregon. Their family moved several times during his youth and he attended high school in Milwaukie, Oregon, and Stevenson, Washington, before graduating from Salem High in Salem, Oregon, in 1950.
After high school, he worked for Safeway before joining the Coast Guard. He was honorably discharged in 1953, having received the rank of Boatswain’s Mate, Second Class. He then returned to Safeway in Salem.
He knew his bride in high school, but they never dated until his return from service. Becoming engaged at the stroke of midnight on Valentine’s Day, they married 3 months later, on May 22, 1954. They raised their three children in the Portland and Milwaukie areas.
After Safeway, he worked as a driver for 7-Up, and at various trucking companies as a dock worker. He was also a reservist for the Clackamas County Sheriff’s department. He retired in 1987 from Eastern Oregon Fast Freight at the age of 54.
In his younger years, he enjoyed riding motorcycles with his brother Jack and their cousins. He even claimed the bikes were their prom dates; choosing to ride instead of dance. In their retirement years, he and Mary Jane began trailer camping with a church group. This gave them the opportunity to see several national parks and enjoy a lot of scenery.
They moved to Springfield, Oregon, in 2007 and have been active at Camp Creek Church. Mary Jane passed away in February 2018.
He is preceded in death by his wife, parents and older brother Jack. He is loved and greatly missed by his younger brother, Wayne Odom of Maupin; Sons Michael (Joy) and Dennis (Chris) Odom of Milwaukie; daughter Deedee (Decker) Helland of Springfield, 3 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren.
A small gravesite service will be planned at a future date. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be given to Camp Creek Church in Springfield.
Arrangements entrusted to Springfield Memorial Funeral Home.