Russell M. Odd

Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2003

Ninilchik-Clam Gulch area resident Russell M. Odd died Saturday, Nov. 15, 2003, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 74.

At his request, no formal services are planned. There will be a celebration of his life in the summer of 2004.

Mr. Odd was born April 14, 1929, in Kaysville, Utah. In 1946, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served for 22 years. His enlistment began during World War II and continued through the Korean War, Okinawa and Vietnam, where he was awarded two purple hearts.

Mr. Odd was trained as a tracked vehicle repairman and completed two years as a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.

He was a decorated expert marksman and small arms expert. While he was stationed in Washington state, he was a member of the Honorary Mounted Color Guard Unit, where he carried the American flag in many parades. He retired as a master gunnery sergeant in Washington in 1968.

Early in his military career, Mr. Odd met and married Joann Hall and had four children.

His first visit to Alaska was in 1949, when he participated in military maneuvers off Kodiak Island and Adak. He moved to Alaska with his family in 1976.

With his many skills, he had various jobs during his retirement, including building two homes on the Kenai Peninsula. He did volunteer work for the Ninilchik Senior Citizens Center and for various people in the community.

Mr. Odd spent time in many parts of Alaska, including King Salmon, Umiak, Kotzebue and Kodiak. In 1988, he and his wife moved to the Kenai Peninsula, residing in Clam Gulch. He spent his time clamming, fishing and gardening.

Mr. Odd was diagnosed with gastric-esophageal cancer in April 2001, which may have been a result of his exposure to radiation during atomic bomb testing while he was on a military assignment in Nevada.

"Though he is no longer with us in body, he will always be with us in spirit. Russ and Joann were married 52 years and he was a devoted and loving husband and father," his family said.

Mr. Odd was preceded in death by his parents, Amos and Maude Odd; and sisters, Barbara and Eldora.

He is survived by his lifelong mate, friend and companion of 52 years, Joann Odd of Clam Gulch; children, Michelle, Holly, Sharon and Russell; and grandchildren, Jennifer, Jessica and Cameron.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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