In Memory of Thomas C. "Tom" Odgaard
Died: April 6, 2018
Thomas C. “Tom” Odgaard, age 90, of Ida Grove, Iowa, passed away on Friday, April 6, 2018, at the Mercy Medical Center, of Sioux City, Iowa.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at the Faith Community Church of Ida Grove, Iowa. Pastor Mark Aurand & Rev. Morris Hurd will officiate. Committal Services will follow in the Ida Grove Cemetery of Ida Grove, Iowa, with Military Rites conducted by the McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with a Masonic Service conducted by the Alpine Lodge #471 AF & AM, at 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at the Christensen - Van Houten Funeral Home, of Ida Grove, Iowa. The Christensen -Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at www.christensenvanhouten.com
Jesus whispered, “Good Morning, Faithful Servant.” And, with those words, Thomas Charles Odgaard went home to be with his Lord on Friday, April 6, 2018 at the Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Tom had recently celebrated his 90th birthday.
He had been a member for over 50 years at Faith Community Church in Ida Grove. He held many positions in that church, including elder, and especially enjoyed encouraging those who were hospitalized or visiting residents in care facilities. He was baptized by immersion in Crawford Creek in the 1980’s alongside his life partner.
Tom was born to Cris and Nellie (Petersen) Odgaard at a hospital in Ida Grove on March 18, 1928. The family farmed southeast of Ida Grove and also moved to Woodbury County for a number of years to continue farming. In 1942, they purchased the land southwest of Ida Grove, which he cherished until his death. He farmed within a mile of his brother and his wife, Chester & Virginia Hurd, and enjoyed many hours working together.
He attended rural country schools and especially excelled in math and history, along with all outdoor activities. Tom graduated from Ida Grove High School in 1946 and was a starting center on the varsity football team.
Shortly after graduation, he was drafted into the Army and proudly spent his first enlistment at Fort Sheridan, IL. Following that time, he returned to farming and also worked for Karl Hoffman’s livestock operation, traveling the country by rail with Hoffman’s cattle exhibiting them at major livestock shows. Tom relished sharing stories of these adventures.
Tom met and then married the love of his life, Carol Kephart of Ida Grove on December 14, 1952 in the Winebrenner Church of God, the same church building he will be buried from. The young newlyweds lived with his parents on the farm and Tom accepted his second Army enlistment serving at Fort Bliss, TX.
After his honorable discharge, Carol’s father Earl Kephart built their home on the family farm just in time for the arrival of their first child, Carrie Jean in 1957, followed by daughter Julie Mae three years later.
Always looking to the future, Tom spent countless hours honing the strip crops on his farm, and planting hundreds of trees on his acreage. Even into his 80’s, he would be out in his orchard with a spade in hand planting and caring for trees that he would never see mature. Locally, many people knew him as either “the egg man” or “the sweet corn man” as he delivered his farm fresh produce to area residents. He operated a Dekalb Seed Corn dealership on the farm for many years. Tom was proud to have wind energy become a part of his farming operation in 2016.
Volunteer service, stewardship, faith and family were of the utmost importance to Tom and he modeled that sprit through many ways. He gave of his time and talent on many community boards and had been a Corwin Township Trustee/Ida Grove Cemetery Board member for well over 50 years. Tom was a part of the original Ida Grove Ambulance Volunteer crew and accepted those calls for over seven years. He belonged to and held offices in the Odd Fellows and Masonic Lodges, Kiwanis, Cattlemen’s and was grateful to be the commander for the Mc Namara American Legion Post. As his health declined, he sadly had to resign from the Ida County Soil Conservation Board, as his love for the land was always so evident.
Elected office and politics also intrigued Tom, and he ran for the Ida County Board of Supervisors, serving for eight years. Tom became a part-time Transportation Associate for GOMACO for 20 years and logged thousands of miles safely taking salesmen, servicemen, and guests back and forth to Omaha.
In his lifetime, he became a 36 gallon Blood Donor and received recognition from the Siouxland Blood Bank for his efforts. He loved spending time with his family and took great pride in his grandchildren. A special memory will always be his Honor Flight Trip to Washington, DC in 2012.
As his health needs changed, Tom became a part of the Willow Dale Family at the Willow Dale Care Wellness Village in Battle Creek. Even there, he enjoyed participating on the resident’s council, going on outings, and playing BINGO.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother & wife and his brothers-in-law Arnold Kephart and George Kephart.
Tom is survived by his loving wife, Carol; daughters Carrie and Julie & Les Todd, grandchildren Allison & Peter Ramsing, Matt & Heaven Todd, and two great-grandchildren Quinn and Glory. He is also survived by sisters-in-law: Dorothy Carson, Norma Kephart, and Elsie Kephart, his niece and nephews: Marjorie Freeburg, Morris Hurd, Millard & Karen Hurd, and Marvin & MaryEllen Hurd, along with a host of family and friends
10:00 a.m., Wednesday
April 11. 2018
Faith Community Church
Ida Grove, Iowa
Pastor Mark Aurand
Rev. Morris Hurd
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Christensen - Van Houten
Ida Grove, Iowa
Masonic Service - 7:00 p.m.
"Here I Am Lord"
Ida Grove Cemetery
Ida Grove, Iowa
He was such kind man. He always made people smile. I’m sure Tom & my dad are having coffee in Heaven right now. We will be be holding your family up in prayer during this difficult time as Heaven has gained another angel.”