Russell Odell was born in Los Angeles, California, to Marion & C.A. Odell.
Russell had a lifelong love of animals. Fortunately for Russell, his tolerant mother allowed him to have a zoo at home, complete with his dog Ike, cats, various snakes, chickens, pheasants, and even a rescued monkey. He loved to share how kindergarten classes often came to see his zoo.
Russell was very close to his mother, and later in life to Eva’s mother.
Russell was a Boy Scout, and his dad was a scout leader. Throughout his life he was always outdoors enjoying nature. He spent many nights at the cabin around a good fire, looking at the stars. He was an avid birder—always making sure they were well fed.
He rode a motorcycle since around age 15 and continued to do so until past age 70. He often talked of getting another one, so he and Eva could ride up to Alberta, Canada.
Russell was a world traveler and always up for a new experience. He was genuinely interested in people and listened to their stories. He would take a trip anywhere that looked interesting. He was always ready for adventure and would have been first to volunteer for space travel.
Russell had a deep understanding of new technologies, such as transistors and computer programing. He earned a two-year science degree and did a four-year apprenticeship in industrial instrumentation. After serving his apprenticeship, he worked for Alcoa in California for ten years and later in Bellingham at Intalco Alcoa Aluminum for another 23 years. After Alcoa, he worked for three sawmills as their electrician.
Russell was very involved in the union and the grievance committee. He believed in protecting the workforce.
Russell and Eva were together forty years this past spring. When Russell met Eva, he said it was “destiny.” What else would have brought them to Bellingham from such diverse backgrounds? Eva became stepmother to Russell’s four children and has supported and loved them from a young age.
We will all miss him.
Russell was laid to rest at Bayview Cemetery in Bellingham, Washington.
In lieu of flowers, consider a memorial donation to the Lighthouse Mission or to Disabled American Veterans (DAV).