In Memory of Carol J. Odgaard
Died: December 5, 2020
Carol J. Odgaard, age 86, a life-long resident of Ida Grove, Iowa, was called home by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, December 5, 2020, at the Willow Dale Wellness Village of Battle Creek, Iowa.
A private family funeral service will be held, with no visitation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, masks are mandatory and social distancing rules apply. 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
Carol was the third child born to Florence (Clouse) and Earl Kephart in Ida Grove, Iowa on February 26, 1934. She graduated from Ida Grove High School in 1952, where she honed her love of music by playing baritone and tenor saxophone in band and singing in choir, along with many other activities. As her father was a carpenter, she learned how to hammer, saw, and build at an early age; a skill set she used nearly every day of her active life.
Through her brother George, she met Tom Odgaard, who became the love of her life. They were married December 14, 1952 in the Winebrenner Church of God (now Faith Community Church) where they both were members until their passing. The young newlyweds lived with his parents on the family farm southwest of town and they helped Earl build their lifetime home next door just in time for the arrival of their first child, Carrie Jean in 1957, followed by daughter Julie Mae three years later.
Faith, family, farming, and friends defined Carol’s life. Her dedication to Christ was as important as each breath. Joyfully, she taught Sunday School for all ages, especially focusing on helping children memorize key Bible passages. Serving was her “sweet-spot,” as she cheerfully worked on committees and filled many roles in the church. An organizer extraordinaire, she put together countless funeral luncheons, ice cream socials, all-church potlucks, Easter brunches, and more. Annually, she helped plan Ida Grove’s World Day of Prayer, was on the original team of the Ida Grove Christian Women’s Club, and hosted several neighborhood Bible studies in her home. Always an early riser, Carol started each new morning with her Lord and a well-worn Bible to get strength for the day ahead.
Fortunately, she had an incredible love for the outdoors, which served her well as a farm wife. Tom and Carol worked side-by-side in their cattle operation, milking cows, feeding chickens, harvesting crops, and thanks to her green thumb—annually managed a huge garden—including 2020. In her spare time, she decorated wedding and birthday cakes, and made thousands of her famous cream cheese mints and cherry pies. As Tom’s parents developed health issues in their home next door, Carol spent years lovingly caring for them until they each had to enter the local nursing home.
In the midst of busy farm life, she never missed an opportunity to attend her daughters’ school activities, sports, 4-H, and church events and never tired of listening to them play piano and organ—which she insisted they both learn. Carol enjoyed sewing and quilting, along with painting, knitting, and crafting. Later in life, she took a couple of photography classes and then carried a camera everywhere, with a never-ending passion for clouds, sunrises and sunsets. As she became “Nana,” she enjoyed playing and baking with her grandchildren, as they were the “apple of her eye.”
She will be lovingly remembered by her caring acts of kindness, including taking home cooked meals to families who were hurting and writing sincere letters of encouragement and hope to those who needed it most. Carol always welcomed anyone who came to the farm, whether it was the delivery guys, baling crew, repairmen or friends; they usually left carrying a bag filled with delicious homemade goodies.
Carol was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and her in-laws, her brothers Arnold Kephart and George (Norma) Kephart, her sister Dorothy (Howard) Carson, and her brother-in law Chester (Virginia) Hurd. She is survived by daughters Carrie Odgaard and Julie & Les Todd, grandchildren Allison & Peter Ramsing, Matt & Heaven Todd, four great-grandchildren Quinn and Glory Todd and Nora and Grace Ramsing. She survived by her sister-in-law Elsie Kephart, many nieces and nephews, along with a host of family and friends.
Carol’s family is eternally grateful to the skilled and compassionate team at Willow Dale.
Psalm 116:15—Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.
Private Family Funeral Service
Pastor Mark Aurand
"It Is Well, With My Soul"
Ida Grove Cemetery
Ida Grove, Iowa
Randy & Dawn Bach”
Mike and Karen Palm”