James E. O’Dell
James (Jim) E. O’Dell, 86, of Old Forge, passed away September 25, 2005, at St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital, Utica.
Jim was born March 13, 1919 in Cold Spring to Stephen and Minnie O’Dell. He was raised and schooled in Cold Spring, the eldest of nine siblings. A proud veteran of WWII, James served his country in the United States Army in the Military Police stationed at Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Mississippi from 1942-1944 where he was honorably discharged.
During his many years of hard work, Jim was employed by Lahey and Son’s Construction, Cold Spring, and The Town of Philipstown Highway Department. Jim retired from Haldane Central Schools in 1983, where he was dubbed a “man of all trades,” doing everything from boiler maintenance to driving students back and forth to school.
Despite all these accomplishments, Jim was most proud of his family. He married his beloved wife Elizabeth (Liz) L. Thorpe on August 30, 1942. Liz predeceased him on October 31, 2002. Together they raised four daughters.
After retirement Jim and Liz moved to Old Forge, where they In this home that they decorated extravagantly for every holiday, they nurtured and spoiled three granddaughters, four grandsons, and six greatgranddaughters. Although retired, Jim continued to work in Old Forge with Pete Bishop and Norm Reynolds, in addition to renovating his own home.
Jim was also a master projectionist at the Cold Spring Theater. He was known to boast that he could give Bob Card a run for his money. Jim was also an accomplished bowler. He bowled in mixed leagues in Cold Spring and in Old Forge with his daughter Linda. He was a member of American Legion Post # 275, Cold Spring and American Legion Post # 843, Old Forge. He was a member of the United Methodist Church, Cold Spring where he was active in the church choir and served as layman and sexton.
Jim is survived by his sister Lillian Tomaselli of Heuvelton, NY, his brothers Stanley of Beacon, NY, John of Wappingers, NY, daughter and son-inlaw Linda and Chip Macdonald of Old Forge, NY, daughter and primary care giver Lorraine Owen of Old Forge, and daughters Patricia O’Dell of Beacon and Carol Simpson of NC, numerous nieces and nephews and many, though not blood related, who affectionately called him Dad or more appropriately, “Poppy.”
Jim was predeceased by three brothers Stephen, Gordon, Harold (Murph) and three sisters Ethel Milkovich, Dorthy Ciccarelli, and Winnona (Winny) Bailey.
Jim’s family wishes to extend deep appreciation to H.A.S.C.A. and the many EMT’s, drivers and crew of the Old Forge Volunteer Fire Dept. who carne to his aide many times over the years. A special heartfelt thanks goes out to those who accompanied him on his last ride: John Metzler Jr., Danielle Hoepfl, Ron Leszyk, Todd Brosmer and Leo DeVincenzi.
Memorial services will be held at Niccolls Memorial Presbyterian Church in Old Forge on November 5, 2005 at 2pm.. Interment ceremonies will be held at the Cold Spring Cemetery on Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 11am.
In lieu of flowers the family encourages donations in Jim’s name to H.A.S.C.A or the Old Forge Volunteer Ambulance Fund.