In Memory of Thomas C. "Tom" Odgaard

Thomas  C. "Tom" Odgaard
Thomas C. "Tom" Odgaard
Born: March 18, 1928
Died: April 6, 2018
Age: 90
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Thomas C. "Tom" Odgaard
March 18, 1928 - April 6, 2018
From: Ida Grove, IA

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

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


Chad Burk
John Burk
Wally Burk
Jeff Hewitt
Chris Kallas
Steve Kallas
Lonnie Bennigsdorf
Mike Iversen


5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Christensen - Van Houten
Funeral Home
Ida Grove, Iowa

Masonic Service - 7:00 p.m.


"Blessed Assurance"
"Here I Am Lord"


Ida Grove Cemetery
Ida Grove, Iowa


Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 9:23 AM
“Carrie & Julie - I'm so sorry for your loss; thinking of you & saying a prayer.”
- Joni (Weber) Lillig
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 2:00 PM
“We are sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed our conversations on the way to the airport when Tom worked for GOMACO. He will be missed.”
- Rod and Karla Schneider
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 10:49 AM
“I’m sorry I can’t be there to pay my respects to a true lion. It was a very nice recap of his life and times, and it’s clear his priority was helping others. I’m glad he led a full, rich life, and my thoughts and prayers are with you in such a difficult time. ”
- Jim Moriarty
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 9:27 AM
“I am so sorry for your loss, Tom was the kindest man I have ever known. He always had a smile, and such a good person. He always helped when called and our Mom could never say enough good about him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.”
- Roger Harrell
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 10:29 AM
“Carrie & Family--We are so very sorry to hear of the passing of your father. What a kind man he was and he always had a smile for everyone. Thoughts and prayers for your family.”
- Kent & Jill Godbersen
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 9:09 AM
“Sending you my heartfelt condolences. Tom was a wonderful person. He will be missed.”
- Rosemarie Rauch
Monday, April 9, 2018 at 3:21 PM
“To Carrie and your family- We were saddened to hear about the loss of Tom. So many years ago he would drive Nap to the airport. You were your Dad's girl, so this will be so difficult for you. Please know that you are in our prayers. Thinking of you all- The Napieralas”
- Dan and Becky Napierala
Monday, April 9, 2018 at 12:57 PM
“Thoughts and Prayers to you and your family Carrie!”
- Mike Leinbaugh
Monday, April 9, 2018 at 8:31 AM
“Julie and family - So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with your family”
- Brian and Sharon Bigelow
Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 4:36 PM
“Carrie, Julie and family, We are sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. We're thinking of you guys and our prayers go out to you.”
- Mike & Karen Palm
Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 4:36 PM
“Carol, we are so sorry for the loss of Tom. Marc and I enjoyed chatting with him from time to time at Willow Dale. Blessings to you and your family. ”
- Marc and Marsha Kjar
Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 12:31 PM
“Carol and girls, I am so sorry for the loss of Tom. He was a good friend and would do anything to help anyone that needed it. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
- Marian Muller
Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 12:31 PM
“Carrie sorry to hear about your Dad our condolences. Ken & Anne”
- Ken& Anne Thornhill
Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 12:31 PM
“So sorry to hear about TOM... BUT he got to celebrate his BIG birthday here on earth... I stopped in to wish him a happy birthday and talked a few minutes... Identified myself as Henry and Violet Schau's daughter... He smiled and said OH YES... He is smiling how with all those who left this world before him... May the Lord give comfort for those he left behind... Sincere condolences...”
- Mareta Vermeys
Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 12:31 PM
“Tom was a great friend and neighbor-an infectious laugh, kind and generous. He will be missed. ”
- Jan Monahan
Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 9:44 PM
“So many memories of our cousin Tom and how much he meant to the Rauch families--Clifford and Clara, and Allan and Rosamary. We send our LOVE, and prayers to Carol, Carrie, and Julie and family. We all look for the day we can all be together in Heaven.”
- Rosamary & Allan Rauch and family
Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 9:44 PM
“Condolences and prayers to the family”
- Sandy Ehler
Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8:01 PM
“Our deepest condolences to the family He was a good friend all the years we lived in Ida Grove.”
- David & Sharon Richards
Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8:01 PM
“My mama and I will sorely miss seeing Tom at Willowdale. With his positive attitude, endearing smile and sense of humor, Tom had a positive impact on all around him. My sympathies and love to his family and many friends. May you find comfort in God’s arms and peace in knowing that Tom is at Home with our Lord and Savior. ”
- Donna Kallas
Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8:01 PM
“Carry, Im so sorry to hear about you father's Passing. Sending huggs and Angels to help you threw this time .... ”
- Betty (Mildenstein) Dahl
Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8:00 PM
“So very sorry for the loss of Tom!
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.”
- Chris Kallas
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