Margaret Ann Odell obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Margaret Ann Odell

December 22, 1937 - May 15, 2017

Obituary


Margaret Ann Odell was born on December 22, 1937 to Donald and Margaret Hood in Creston, Iowa. In 1945, sometime after the passing of her father and her sister Marilyn, Margaret's mother packed up their life in Iowa, and moved west to Long Beach, California, with Margaret and her siblings-Catherine Joan, Thomas, Richard, Jack and Donald, Jr.--in tow.
Margaret eventually graduated high school at St. Anthony's in Long Beach in 1956, and by 1962 would move to Anchorage, Alaska where she lived with her brother Donald, Jr., his wife Betty and their 6...

Margaret Ann Odell was born on December 22, 1937 to Donald and Margaret Hood in Creston, Iowa. In 1945, sometime after the passing of her father and her sister Marilyn, Margaret's mother packed up their life in Iowa, and moved west to Long Beach, California, with Margaret and her siblings-Catherine Joan, Thomas, Richard, Jack and Donald, Jr.--in tow.
Margaret eventually graduated high school at St. Anthony's in Long Beach in 1956, and by 1962 would move to Anchorage, Alaska where she lived with her brother Donald, Jr., his wife Betty and their 6 children. Donald was several years older than Margaret, and was a big brother and a father figure to her. She always recalled her memories of that time, with her brother and his family, with great fondness.
Margaret was employed by Shell Oil Company, in Anchorage, when she met her husband, Richard T. Odell. After several months of courtship and ultimately winning the approval of her brother, Donald, Margaret and Richard married in Long Beach, California on November 15, 1962.
Richard worked on a drill ship for Global Marine in Alaska, at the time, and always told Margaret that he and she were going places together. After the birth of their first daughter Sharon, that is exactly what they did. Their first port of entry overseas would land them in Africa.
Fifteen years, six continents and dozens of countries and cities across this world later--and the following births of Katherine, Stephen and Daniel--Margaret and Richard's last port of entry would find them in London, England. London would be their final overseas destination as a family of expats, and the place both Margaret and Richard agreed that they each had left a little piece of their hearts behind there.
In 1981, Margaret and Richard were transferred stateside to Bakersfield, California with Occidental Petroleum where they ultimately settled down, forged incredibly close bonds and created many amazing, indelible memories with their children, grandchildren and friends.
Margaret Ann was a force of nature. She was part saint, part comedian and a whole lot of Typhoon Mary. In fact, Richard use to say that Margaret was his own personal Lucille Ball and the funniest woman he had ever known. She had a talent for pulling off a joke with such a straight face you never knew you were being played until she got to the punch line. She could light up a room with her laughter and once you heard it, you never forgot it or her. Margaret was also fiercely competitive. She loved to bowl and she loved to play bridge. She was a strike bowler and a team favorite. Even as her memory began to fade, her ability to play bridge never did.
Richard was either offshore or traveling for work when the family was overseas, and that left Margaret alone with the children-sometimes as long as six months out of a year. On any given weekend, with four kids and sleep overs with friends, the house was always full and so was the fridge. She was santa claus, the easter bunny, and the tooth fairy. She was a sports mom, a chaperone, a chauffeur, a party planner, a cook, an entertainer and a travel guide. And her kisses were the balm that healed the daily cuts, scrapes and bruises of four kids who played outside and played rough.
When Margaret and Richard returned to the states with their family, she continued to care greatly for her grown up kids, her nieces and nephews and the grandchildren who eventually blessed their lives. Even as each of them took detours off of their preferred path-some more than the others-together with Richard, she never gave up hope they would find their way back and not once did they refuse when asked for help. If they weren't working to right the lives of their own kids and grandkids, they were doing the same for others that needed a safe refuge and someone to care.
Margaret was a loving and loyal companion to Richard, a nurturing and loving presence for her kids and grandkids, a loving sister, the crazy "Aunt Maggie" to her nieces and nephews, and the friend who had your back when you needed her the most. Her absence in the lives of her family and friends will reverberate forever.
She is survived by her brother Thomas Hood, her children Sharon Odell, Katherine Collom, Steve and Lisa Odell, Dan and Amy Odell, her grandchildren, a great grandchild and numerous nieces and nephews.
Arrangements under the direction of Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary, Bakersfield, CA.