While surrounded by loved ones, Joe O’Dell raced the angels to his eternal home and the peaceful, comforting embrace of his savior Jesus Christ on August 31, 2022. Joe was born November 22, 1953, in DeWitt, Arkansas to Billy Merle and Juanita McGraw O’Dell Smith. Joe was of Irish and Scottish descent with gorgeous red hair, a wide, sparkling smile, and a witty humor that brought smiles and laughter to everyone he met. He always allowed that he was the favorite out of his four siblings. He had a wonderful spirit of a God-given joy and true happiness of life. His passing leaves an immeasurable hole in the hearts of family and friends who had the privilege of knowing him and remembering his gift of storytelling.
Joe graduated from DeWitt High School in 1971. He attended Arkansas State University, and was a member of the Lambda Chi Fraternity. He returned to DeWitt where he worked at Arkansas County Irrigation, S and B Irrigation, and US Irrigation over the span of 43 ½ years. Joe was always outdoors, familiar with the farms and farmers of Arkansas County and the surrounding areas, helping them in the spring and summer months grow crops from the soil and seed. In the fall and winter, he indulged his passion for deer hunting with traditional and non-traditional bows. Joe was awarded the Big Buck Award in 1998-99 by the Arkansas Bowhunters Association, of which he was a life member. He received the North American Bowhunting Big Game Record for non-typical white tail deer with a score of 157 2/8 in Arkansas County on January 2, 1998, by the Pope and Young Club. He was president of the Southeast Arkansas County Bowhunters and enjoyed competing in many local tournaments. He loved archery and once shot a turkey from a tree. Joe was a true sportsman, hunting deer, elk, squirrel, dove, as well as fishing.
Joe was a member of the First United Methodist Church of DeWitt where he served on several committees.
Joe is survived by his loving wife of thirty-four years, Carla T. Alter O’Dell, children John Paul O’Dell (Katy) of Little Rock, Christi Jo O’Dell Obenshain (Chris) of Bentonville, Arkansas, Hunter Alter Norris (Robert) of Austin, Texas, Amanda Alter Martin (Avery) of Austin, Texas, and nine wonderful, loving grandchildren, Kirby and George O’Dell, Clara and Camryn Obenshain, Gage, Whit, and Roxana Norris, Mara and Mae Martin. He also leaves behind two brothers, Tommy O’Dell (Sandy) of Avoca, Arkansas, and Mark O’Dell (Bobbie) of Gillett, Arkansas, and his favorite and only sister, Sarah O’Dell Fuhrman, and many nieces and nephews, brother-in-law, Benny Thigpen (Debbie) of DeWitt, Arkansas and honorary brother-in-law, Harlan Butler of Pensacola Beach, Florida.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and brother, Jimmy O’Dell.
Funeral services were September 2 at First United Methodist Church in DeWitt. Burial was in DeWitt Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church 608 S. Grandview Drive DeWitt, AR 72042 or CARTI. www.essexfuneralhome.com
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