Bette June Odell, 93, of Poplar Bluff, passed away on Monday, October 5, at her
home in Poplar Bluff. Bette was born on February 3, 1927, in Petersburg, IN, the
daughter of Solomon James and Eliza Ellen (Pearson) Jones.
After graduating high school, Bette was employed in Washington, D.C. with the
Department of Labor in the labor statistics division. After World War II, she moved
to Los Angeles, CA and was employed with First Security National Bank and a
regional aviation and oil company.
She married Robert (“Bob”) Lewis Odell on January 1, 1952, in Princeton, IN, while
he was on military leave during the Korean conflict. They were stationed in Virginia
Beach, Virginia, before returning to Indiana to raise their family. Bob was employed
with the J.C. Penney Company, during which time they were transferred to St. Louis,
Poplar Bluff, and New York City. In 1966, they relocated to Poplar Bluff and
purchased Odell’s Cleaners & Laundry (formerly Stanley Cleaners) and Buddy’s
Cleaners. Bette managed the front office of the business for many years before they
retired. One of their favorite pastimes was boating with friends and family on Lake
Wappapello. Together they shared nearly fifty-five years of marriage, before Bob’s
passing on December 10, 2005.
Bette was a long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church in Poplar Bluff,
where she had served as elder and session member. She was a faithful member of the
weekly Bible study group there. Bette believed it was never too late to go to college
and, during her 50’s, earned an Associate Degree in Business at Three Rivers
College. She was a talented artist and enjoyed painting on porcelain and canvas. She
also was an accomplished bridge player and played frequently with friends. She
served as a Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout den mother, Rotary-Ann, and volunteered
for various local nonprofit organizations, including the Poplar Bluff Art Museum and
Full Gospel Rescue Mission. Her greatest passion and joy, however, was spending
time with her grandchildren, reading stories, playing whiffle ball, and baking when
they were young; and sharing time with them often as they became adults.
Survivors include her daughter, Valerie Odell Richardson of Poplar Bluff; and two
granddaughters, Amelia “Aly” Richardson of Columbia, and Blythe Richardson
Smith, and husband Matthew, of Springfield. She is also survived by her sister,
Barbara Lee Zobel of Berryville, AR, several nieces and nephews, and her close
friend Jan Harrell Metz of Poplar Bluff. In addition to her parents and husband,
Bette was preceded in death by her twin sons, Daniel Ray and David Jay Odell; a
sister, Wanda Marilyn Rogers; and four brothers, H. Elwood Jones, Roy D. Jones,
Robert P. Jones, and R. Eugene Jones.
A traditional visitation or memorial service will not be held at this time due to the
Covid-19 pandemic. After a private grave-side service with First Presbyterian Pastor
Tim Poletti officiating, Bette will be interred in Poplar Bluff City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family suggest friends consider memorials to Girl Scouts of the
Missouri Heartland, or other organizations serving the community.
Cotrel Funeral Service is honored to serve the family of Betty J. Odell.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bette June (Jones) Odell, please visit our floral store.
Gary G. Bumpus Memorial Fund for Josie Bumpus
Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland
PO Box 10747, Springfield MO 658088
Web: http://girlscoutsmoheartland.org (Click on donate)