WILSON — Mary Marie Hughes O’Dell, age 90, of Wilson, departed this life on Saturday, March 9, 2019, surrounded by her loving family at her home. Graveside Services will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at Hewitt Cemetery, in Wilson, with Jeff Jones officiating. Services are under the direction and care of Alexander-Gray Funeral Home in Wilson.
She was born Nov. 21, 1928, in Rexroat, Okla. She was the daughter of Ferman (Jack) Terrell Hughes and Nannie Lou (Allen) Hughes. She graduated from Rexroat High School in 1946. She then worked as a bookkeeper for Hudson-Houston Lumber Co., which at the time owned nine different yards and had many employees. She took great care in her work and was an exceptional employee. While working, she was courted by her childhood sweetheart, Dale Gene O’Dell, through many love letters while he was oversees serving in WWII and Korea. He married his “Darling Sweetheart,” as he addressed her in several letters, on Feb. 5, 1949, when he returned.
Dale preceded her in death in 1995. She was also preceded in death by one son, Robert Dean (infant); her parents; two brothers, Harold and Leonard; and one sister, Barbara (Bobbie) Shellenberger.
Marie was above all a devoted homemaker, wife and mother. Her parents came from Alabama during “the worst hard time” of the depression and dust bowl and, somehow, thrived in the oilfields of southern Oklahoma. She always managed to have an open door to welcome, love and feed any friend or family. She was raised in the Baptist faith and played the piano for Rexroat Baptist church for many years. When she converted to the O’Dell faith of the Church of Christ by way of her father-in-law, she stayed true to it and was a devoted member of the Wilson congregation until her death.
Marie is survived by her children, John O’Dell and wife Marie, of Lone Grove; Cynthia Powers and husband Dr. Dave Powers, of Ardmore; Jim O’Dell of Falconhead (Burneyville), Samuel O’Dell of the home, and Cathy Shellenberger (her sister’s child, but more of a second daughter) and fiancée Jim Nulle, of Laramie, Wyo.; grandchildren, David O’Dell and wife Siji, of Silver Springs, Md., Kyle O’Dell of Lone Grove, Celia Roberts and husband Jon, of League City, Texas, Kylee O’Dell, Shelby O’Dell of Ada, Luke O’Dell of Falconhead, and Jennevieve O’Dell, of the home; great-grandchildren, Jake Roberts of League City, Texas; step-greats, Emily and Ashley Roberts, and Pearl O’Dell of Silver Springs, Md.; sister-in-law, Juanita (White) Hughes of Ardmore; great-nephews, Ryan Langford and wife Jessica, Michael Langford and wife Megan, Courtney Bobsein and husband Ryan, and Cassidy Villano and husband Ryan; special niece, Carol Shepard of Hunstville, Texas.
In later years, Marie used her talents in many ways. She was a volunteer at the local nursing home doing hair and nails. She taught Sunday school for many years, spent endless hours taking care of her grandchildren, and did expertise wax injection work for her sons’ (Jim and Sam) jewelry-making business. She was talented in hand work also, making many quilts, knitting afghans, crocheting and embroidery. Her cooking will be missed by everyone who knew her, because she could get the “pinch” just right when it came to her list of ingredients. Most of all, we will miss her unconditional love. She led her children and grandchildren through many difficult times in their lives and her faith kept them strong. She was the “good and faithful servant,” and she looked forward to heaven and was brave and smiling to the end. She ran the “good race.” She did many small things in her life with great love.
Online condolences can be sent to alexanderfuneralhome.org.