Mildred Ila Odle, “Millie,” of Goreville, was 88 when she departed this earthly life at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, December 15, 2018, at her beloved home on Hickory Hill with her husband of 67 years at her side.
She was born February 11, 1930, in Carlinville, IL, to Charles and Marjorie (Smalley) Peebles.
Mildred was united in marriage to Raymond Odle on October 14, 1951, at the Baptist Foundation in Carbondale, IL.
Until entering Carlinville Community High School, Mildred attended a one-room country school while living on a farm as her dad’s “boy” working in the fields. After high school graduation, she enrolled at Southern Illinois University (SIU) receiving a B.S. in education, which led to almost 20 years of teaching school in Illinois, North Carolina, and Yemen. Then, for another 20 years until Ray retired, she was the business manager of Ray’s dental practice. She loved this work and she excelled in the role as well. You can guarantee that Mildred knew all of the best tips for marketing a dental practice at the time (they will certainly be very different from those of today, which you can find out here). During that time, she also was his dental assistant (and partial translator) for over 30 volunteer dental mission trips to Third World countries, mainly in Central and South America. She also assisted Ray when he was ship’s dentist on seven Holland America cruises and two years with Miles of Smiles doing preventive dentistry in schools.
Mildred was always active in Baptist churches teaching, singing in the choir, and directing children’s choirs. For a few years, she wrote children’s worship material for Cook Publishing Company. In Yemen, she and Ray opened their home for Sunday worship services for the Christian ex-patriots, which led to her directing Christmas, Easter, and July 4th cantatas.
Always enjoying music, Mildred played the Hawaiian guitar, piano, and sang in choral groups-the Singing Illinoisans, SIU Choral Union, and JOY Singers of First Baptist Church in Marion, IL-attended concerts, and square danced. She had many interests, including caring for beloved pets, sewing, yard work, traveling, and SIU sports. Blessed with friendships of SIU international students from many different countries, Mildred and Ray became American “parents” as they helped the students adjust to a new land and culture. They also were always proud of the accomplishments of their children and grandchildren. Wherever she lived, Mildred had faithful, encouraging friends who corresponded during their lifetime. As a heart attack and cancer survivor, she was thankful for every day God allowed her to live as she shared her faith and helped people in need.
Mildred is survived by her husband, Raymond; sister, Winifred Bauman of West Lafayette, IN; sister-in-law, Ethel Odle of Bradley, IL; brother-in-law, Harold (Shirley) Odle of West Frankfort, IL; son, Phillip (Sandy) Odle of Marion, IL; daughter, Cheryl Odle of Goreville, IL; daughter, Ellen (Ron) Bussert of Bixby, OK; eight grandchildren, including Rebecca, Elijah, and Phoenix Odle of Marion; Sarah Odle of Hoboken, NJ; Luke (Amy) Clendenin of Geneseo, IL; Kerry (Andrew) Mason of Corydon, IA; Jack (Meagan) Bussert of Bloomington, IN; Paul (Anna) Bussert of Bixby, OK; great grandsons, Logan and Jackson Clendenin of Geneseo, IL; great grandsons, Nathaniel and Max Mason of Corydon, IA; great granddaughter, Piper Mason of Corydon, IA; five nephews; and two nieces.
Mildred was preceded in death by her parents; brother-in-law, Kenneth Odle; and one nephew.
Thank you to Dr. Jack Keller, Dr. Victor Mwanza, the Blue East team at Southern Illinois Hospice, and Hospice volunteers Fred and Sandy Edwards. Thank you for all the special care from all the Heartland medical staff, ADDUS homecare aids, friends, and family during her life in Southern Illinois.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at First Baptist Church Marion, IL, on December 28, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., with a visitation starting at 10:00 a.m. Her remains will be interred at East Fork Cemetery in West Frankfort, IL, at a later date. Blue Funeral Home in Marion is assisting with arrangements
In lieu of flowers, the family requests for memorials to be made to the Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship.
For more information or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit bluefuneralhome.com