Joseph Mitchell Odenwald was born June 17, 1927, in Heathman, Mississippi, to Joseph Odenwald and Mable Cotner Odenwald, and passed away on December 1, 2019. Joe served in the Navy during World War II, and he attended Delta State University. He married the former Edna Rivers in 1951. The couple and their two sons moved to Ferriday, Louisiana, in 1968, where he joined the Panola Land Development Company as Assistant Manager. From 1977 to 2007, Joe was self-employed as a farmer, first under the LLC "Lazy 8 Cattle Company" and later, "Joe's Pecans and Custom Work." Mr. Odenwald or "Big Big," as he was known to many, was a fifty-year member of First Baptist Church, Ferriday, where he taught a Sunday School class from 1976 until just before his passing. From the 1980s through the early 2000s, Joe engaged in volunteer prison ministry, teaching a Bible class on Sunday nights in the local jail. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, the Rev. Robert Owen Odenwald. He is immediately survived by his wife of more than sixty-eight years, Edna Rivers Odenwald; his two sons, Joseph Mitchell Odenwald, Jr. (Cyndy), and Jay Hunter Odenwald; three grandsons, Dr. Joseph Learned Odenwald (Laura), Joseph Mitchell Odenwald, III, and Joshua Odenwald; a great-grandson, Joseph Franklin Odenwald; a brother, Dr. Neil Graham Odenwald (Rebekah); and a sister, Ruth Clair (Odenwald) Adair. Dr. Joseph Learned Odenwald will officiate a celebration of life on Saturday, December 28, 2019, at 11 AM at First Baptist Church Ferriday. The family will receive friends at 10 AM the morning of the service. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be directed to The Southwestern Michigan College Foundation. The address is 58900 Cherry Grove Road, Dowagiac, MI 49047. To leave an online condolence for the family please visit www.comerfh.com
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Published in The Advocate from Dec. 2 to Dec. 3, 2019.