Cover photo for Carl "Butch" Odean's Obituary
1942 Carl 2024

Carl "Butch" Odean

April 3, 1942 — January 22, 2024

Ocean Springs

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Carl “Butch” Junior Odean, 81 of Vancleave, MS passed away on January 22, 2024 in Ocean Springs, MS.

He was born on April 3, 1942 in Anamosa, Iowa to Carl S. and Dorothy J. Odean. He attended Marion High School and continued on to receive his GED and Military Formal Education. He served in the U.S. Marines and The U.S. Air Force. During his service, he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal with three stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal with device, Rifle Sharpshooter Badge, Pistol Sharpshooter BadgeSmall Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze service stars, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Air Force Good Conduct Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. 

He was employed with the City of Marion. He enjoyed time spent with family and friends, fishing, racing, cars, woodworking, camping, his scooter, and appreciated, being alive, each day.

Butch was preceded in death by his son, Carl John “C.J.” Odean; his parents, Carl S. and Dorothy J. Odean; and siblings, Alan Odean, Judy Stoddard, and Cheryl Gasho.

Carl is survived by his wife, of sixty-three years, Patricia E. Odean, of VanCleave, MS; all 5 pets, and his children, his daughter Tina DeBerry, of Minnesota, and her children, Sean(Erin) of Iowa, and Savannah DeBerry, of Minnesota, and her children, Zoey, Max, Oliver, Everleigh, and Finley; His daughter, Gidget (Robert) Soukup of Iowa, and their children Jennifer (Christopher) Phillips of Iowa, and her children Robert “Austin”(Clairese), of South Carolina, and Christopher, and Leilani; Christopher (Sindi), of Mississippi, and their children Kai and Koa; and Samantha, of Iowa; and Robert, of Iowa, and his child, Shaely, of Iowa. He is also survived by his siblings, Sister, Linda (Dave) Cook, of North Dakota; and Brother, Brian (Robin) of Iowa, as well as many loved nieces and nephews.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the VFW (Jackson, MS)(VFW Pat); Chaplain (Cpt)Joseph Ebhodaghe, Chaplain (Cpt) Luigi Perez, both from the 81st Training Wing, Keesler AFB; Marine Corps League (COO, Bob Borka); Marine Corps Honor Guard; Pastor Joshua Cutshall; Biloxi National Cemetery (Mike); MS Patriot Guard (Bob); Gary Sinise-foundation, AMR Ambulance Service (Each team); Acadia Ambulance Service (Each team), and the White House.

Memorial donations in Butch’s memory, can be made to 81st Wing Training Wing, Keesler AFB, MS; AMR Ambulance Service, Marine Corps League (COO, Bob Borka); Marine Corps Honor Guard; Vancleave Worship (Pastor Joshua Cutshall); MS Patriot Guard; Gary Sinise-foundation, AMR Ambulance Service; Acadia Ambulance Service.

A funeral service will be held at 1:00pm on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, Ocean Springs, MS. Friends may visit one hour prior. Burial will follow at Biloxi National Cemetery.

Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Homes is honored to serve the family of Carl “Butch” Odean.

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 Carl, (Butch), was born April 3, 1942, to Carl and Dorothy (Etzel) in Anamosa, Iowa. He was raised in Marion, Iowa, along with his siblings Judy, Cheryl, Alan, Linda, and Brian.
 The following life milestones, of Carl (Butch) have been collected and shared by his daughters Tina, and Gidget. 
 Dad, (aka Butch) from his early years, resembled James Dean, the hair, his rolled up jeans, and a t-shirt, right along with his pack of cigarettes, rolled up, into his shirt, at his shoulders. (Daughters do not support smoking, in any form). Dad was just a little bit, of a rebel, he had a whole lot of humor, and some would say he had stood his ground, at a young age, even when he was expelled from Marion High School, for defending his sister, Judy. He met mom through her cousins, where they became an Instant couple through the battling of opinions, from both sides of their families, We can only envision that dad was met by the resistance of, moms brothers, and her dad, grampa Jack, putting his foot down, while her mom, gramma Ruth, added just a few more chores into her daily schedule, and we can only picture dads, 3 sisters approving, of mom’s beauty, and spunk, to keep up with their brother. Obviously, with or without support, they were determined, to be together. Their life together, encountered a tremendous amount, of life events. Family stories along the way, left us envisioning, that dad was met by the resistance of, moms brothers, and her dad, aka.. grampa Jack, standing his ground, along with, her mom, gramma Ruth, adding just a few more chores, into her daily schedule, and dads 3 sisters approving, of mom’s beauty, and spunk, to keep up, with their brother. Although, Real life throughout the world was happening, and being a young couple, they found their way around those obstacles, and dad’s love for her, and hers for him, had our dad facing hard, and responsible decisions, to support them. His first decision made, was honorable. To provide for her, protect her, and ultimately, our country. He literally, signed on the most important dotted line, entering himself, into a contract, to give up his own life, for anyone. Our dad, aka, Butch, joined the Marines, in January of 1960. 

Their decisions, love and commitment, to one another, came from not only numerous shenanigans along the way, but we, putting these milestones together and as their daughters, both found ourselves saying, Ughh Ohhh—-“We’re goin to the chapel and we’re gonna get married”…we share this story, because my dad loved our mom, and did everything, for her. He didn’t want to leave her, but dad, like thousands, of other men, and women, felt the need, to serve and protect our country. 
 Dad, joined the Marines, in January 1960. He went to Basic training in San Diego, and afterwards, he went back to Iowa, for the gal he loved, and took her to the Chapel, where they married, on June 1, 1960. (the Chapel, mom says, was actually, the courthouse, located in Iowa City.) Dads life changed quickly, he had been to basic training, and his James Dean look was now gone. He was newly married, and moved his bride, to California, made sure she was settled in, and went on to begin, his Marine Infantry training, in San Mateo, where he was notified, that he needed to be with his wife, who was in her first stages, of giving birth, to their first child, Tina. They went on to have 3 more children. Dad had left his James Dean look, and proudly wore the look of a soldier. (You know..the look of a soldier who just left the government barber chairs, was given a green uniform, that included uncomfortable boots, a 60 pound ruck sack, and a duffel bag). His young wife had to share new best friends, these friends would always be by his side; a rifle, pistol, grenades, rocket launchers, flame throwers, and bazookas… What had she gotten herself into, as a military spouse? What did all this mean for him, or her, and the family they were to have?
 Life began. Being newly married, he moved his bride, to California, ensured she was settled in, and went on to begin, his Marine Infantry training, in San Mateo. During training, he was notified, that he needed to be with his wife, who was in her first stages, of giving birth, to their first child, Tina. (Shenanigans) They went on to have 3 more children, in between his tours of Okinawa, and two separate tours of Vietnam. 
 Dad, was assigned to Camp Pendleton. He did a tour in Okinawa, and two separate tours, in Vietnam. He did not really ever speak about what he endured, he did not want us to know, what he experienced, or those of his platoon, which we have learned, that three quarters, of his platoon, were killed. He did speak highly of his war buddies. 

And, during his time served, in Vietnam, and as an infantryman, he experienced hand to hand combat.was not only an Infantryman, he was a crane operator, he specialized in using 3.5 inch rocket launchers, and flame throwers. He shared little, but we do recall, the story of when he took in a baboon, he found, in the jungle, and for a small amount of time, took care of it, but as all wild and hungry baboons are, found his way, to the chow hall tent, causing a ruckus, expected of baboons, was captured. Dad, never saw the baboon, again. Only a few knew that three quarters of his platoon were killed. His Command then, sent him home. His youngest daughter recalls a visit with a Veteran, who stopped to talk with him, (like many others had done), while dad was on an ambulance stretcher, at an appointment, at the VA Medical Ctr. After the veteran visited with my dad, he pulled me aside, and said, most soldiers don’t share with their own families what they went through, and after talking to your dad, I want you to know, the years he spent, in Vietnam, those years, are known as, the most intense of battles, the most horrific, that our soldiers experienced. If, they were lucky, to make it through, their buddies did not. He then went on to say, I want to thank you for taking care, of my brother, most can’t, , most won’t and most quit. I turned back, to look at my dad, the ambulance crew, was making him comfortable, and there were two new veteran visitors, along with the ambulance crew, next to him. He and I, met many brave veterans, on those appointments. I was proud of him, and proud of all our veterans, we have many family members, who served, in many branches of the Military. 

Dad, was a proud man, and we would like to share one more proud moment, at another VA appointment. The ambulance team was given partial orders to transport him, to a few appointments, in different buildings. Those orders could not be changed. They had to take him to the wrong building first, Where I was told, that the ambulance team, had to drop my dad off, at that first location, and of course had to take the stretcher, dad was transported on, where would you like us to leave him, they asked me? 

He needed to be elsewhere, and they had to leave. I went back and forth, attempting to get assistance, but, orders are orders. Dad, asked, well what are you going to do about it, Gidget? I put my backdown on the ground, and noticing numerous veterans sitting along the wall, simply told the crew, you’ll have to put him on my back, he has to get to the other building. Those veterans, along the wall, immediately, stood up, in silence, waiting to see what was to take place. I stood there, looking at the crew, who was now, talking to someone, got that stretcher rolling, and along the way out, my dad asked, gidge- where are we going? I told him, to the other building. He lifted his arm, and simply gave the bird. I turned to the soldiers, near the wall, as I walked by, we smiled, and nodded at one another. It was a very proud moment knowing, that they would have helped me, carry him, anywhere. 

Dad, endured, a lifetime injury, at an appointment. He had to have an amputation, which included, above the knee, and since that amputation, he did adapt, but his health, deteriorated. No emotional therapy, nor enough aggressive therapies, were offered, but he had his wife and eldest daughter, Tina, were there, to support him, he had to adapt to this new life, and his wife, Tina, and even 5 very young great grandkids, went through this life change, with him. The great grandkids, would call him a robot, their grampa was on, team transformers, and you would have found him giving them rides on his new lifeline, his scooter, throughout the property, that scooter gave him, the will, to continue. He conquered his new van, learning how to use his left leg, instead of his right. He still went fishing alone, drove himself to family funerals. His scooter was his lifeline, that gave him the will to survive. During his last 3 years, he suffered strokes, and mini heart attacks. He endured the loss of usage, on both, his left arm and leg. 
 He could no longer drive. His right arm was all he had to use. The only limb he had, he used to help us help him. We were unable to get a new scooter that would be designed and effective for him. He became bedbound. He lost a huge part of his spirit then. He became depressed. Neither of us were ready to give up. He still had the will to live. He accepted a feeding tube, he endured, to be here, each day, for just one more day. Each day, I watched him, in that bed. He watched, every move the love of his life made. By his bedside, as she walked, into the kitchen he had built for her. He watched her become more tired, I seen my dad cry, while watching her. He was scared to die, and he did not want to leave her, or leave anyone. He wanted to do what he could to make all things right. He’d reach out his hand for her, he lived now, just to see her, to see those he couldn’t, to hear from those he hadn’t heard from. He wanted to go fishing, and asked his son in law, to get a pontoon, he needed to catch a couple. He never forgot to ask his daughter to get his Hon a card, or specific chocolates, he wanted her to have a new car. He had lots of things he still wanted to do. The pain he was in, from being malnourished, and severe loss of weight, and continuous trips to the hospital, without full recovery took a huge toll on him. There are many things, we can overcome, adapt too, and even conquer, it is the courage, the bravery, and our will, to endure, the worst possible conditions, just to be here one more day, for those, who love us, and take care of us, and who will advocate, for us. He did each of those, for each of us.
 Being left bedbound, will eventually lead that person to leave us, more quickly.  He still had the will to live. He’d ask me daily, who are you talking to, today, for me? Eventually, that question became, who are you talking to today for me, and the next person? 
 He humbly allowed me to take a picture, of him, for me to use, in any manner, to help him, and others. That was a mission he would have wanted us all to take a stand for! I’ve been asked, what went wrong, and what will I do? I stayed, I stood my ground, and I stood for him. I will continue to bring attention, to matters that could have been easily resolved, with small changes. I will try to correct the wrong-doing, I will need a minute, to regroup. And, I will follow through, on what I believe, will be a journey of continuance, of advocating, for my dad, and all other Veterans mission. The distress, my family, has endured, especially my dad, should never have happened, to any Veteran. They are each deserving, let alone entitled, to a decent quality of life, and no none should be kept bed bound, and endure what it took to leave him physically, similar to a holocaust victim, or POW. No one! Our dad, was one of the lucky ones, who came back from Vietnam, but he didn’t look at it that way, as he continued to mourn, those who did not come back. Dad, did not cry, but through these last two years, he broke down, quite often, he shared only, that, they were treated wrong, and felt he should have done more. Vietnam, was heavily weighing on him. He, like all our soldiers, are still dealing with the war they each were involved in, and that war is still dealt within them. They will never forget. Our dad, married a strong woman. All of us, are provided our Freedoms, our Liberties, because of each Soldier, who signed on that most important dotted line, who knowingly and willingly, were handing over their own lives, for each of us. We all owe each of them, the respect and honor they deserve. Those of you whom are here, to honor him, will follow him, on some of the same roads he rode on, in an ambulance, for the care, he so desperately needed.


 

The medals, and ribbons that our dad, and any veteran, has earned, will never be enough. As his daughters, knowing what our dad endured, and was promised and entitled to, and has not received, should be given the highest award.


 

Our Dad, Endured All, for all of us!


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