Bob Odom passed away peacefully at Lane Regional Medical Center on May 17, 2014 at the age of 78. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and brother. Survived by his wife of nearly 46 years, Mildred (Millie) Randolph Odom; one son, Robert (Robb) Fulton Odom, III and wife Monique; one daughter, Ashley Odom White and husband Ned. Three granddaughters, Taylor Brooke Odom, Baylie Monet Odom, Brighton Lynn Thompson and one grandson, Nolan Randolph Thompson. Survived by four sisters, Mary Ann Bryant, Emily Odom Honeycutt and husband Billy; Anna Bess Kelley and husband Joe; Betty Sue Broussard and husband Donald. Sisters-in-law, Betsy Randolph; Linda Chaney and husband Pat; Mary Randolph and Judy Calmes. One brother-in-law, Billy Randolph and wife Betty. He is also survived by his very special friend, who is like a daughter, Mariah Phares Blackwell. Preceded in death by his mother, Mary Traylor Odom and father, Robert Fulton Odom, Sr. Bob Odom was born in Haynesville, Louisiana, and spent his entire life service to our state and nation. He grew up on a 1,000-acre cotton and dairy farm. He was first elected Commissioner of Agriculture in 1979 and served until 2008, an unprecedented seven consecutive terms. He was a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University in Animal Science and of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. Commissioned a company commander with the U.S. Marine Corps and retired as Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1980. He had been with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry since 1960 working his way through various roles of responsibility prior to his election as Commissioner. Odom was committed to service of the American farmers and citizens understanding that the access to food and fiber are not only life preserving, but the foundation of our state and nation. Traveling throughout the world to promote Louisiana agriculture, flying himself at the drop of a hat to further the economic development of our state. Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the state grew up with the ""Bob Odom"" jingle before they ever met the man. He was a leader of the school system and his home church. He chaired the building committee at Zachary First Baptist and led a community renovation of the high school football field, but perhaps no endeavor will be as long lasting as working with the legislators and community leaders for the state and federal authorization for the creation of the Zachary Community school system. While he was particularly honored by the USDA Secretary in 1970, the Louisiana Legislature in 1976, Progressive Farmer 1996 Man of the Year and he was recognized for his leadership and commitment to people he was honored by more communities, towns and cities, boards, commissions, and organizations and walked in more fair and festival parades and across more fields than could be counted but mostly, he felt honored to be able to serve and to use his leadership skills to help anyone who asked. He served as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), the Southern US Trade Assn and the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He served on many board and commissions representing agriculture, and was involved with many agricultural groups including the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, Louisiana Cattlemen's Association, the American Sugar Cane League and the Southern and LSU Ag Centers. Visitation Monday, May 19, 2014 at Zachary First Baptist Church from 5:00-8:00 p.m. resuming Tuesday, May 20 at Zachary First Baptist Church from 10:00 until services at 2:00 p.m. and celebrated by Dr. Wayne Barnes. Burial will follow at Beulah Plains Cemetery. Honorary Pallbearers are Billy Honeycutt, Joe Kelley, Donald Broussard, Billy Randolph, Pat Chaney, Willie Bryant, Bill Honeycutt, Bob Honeycutt, Blayne Honeycutt, Blair Honeycutt, Shane Dawson, David Dawson, Neal Fudge, Wayne Fudge, Wade Randolph III, John Randolph, Mark Randolph, Bryce Barrilleaux, Paul Raymond, Special Pallbearers are Randal Johnson, Melanie Barnett, Michelle Ribera, Debbie Barrilleaux, Danny McCartney, Kendall Theunissen, Richard Herrin, David Stilley, Johnny Brown, Matthew Keppinger, Mike Kovac, Pete Broussard, Bill Boudreaux, Mark Hensgens, Jack Hatcher, Lonny Myles, Jerry Boudreaux, Dr. Donald Hines, Joe Salter, Francis Thompson, Ray Young, Johnny LeTard, Everett Mayo, J.W. Bennett, Greg McDougall, Lemmie Walker, John Compton, Fred Burkett, James Maholmes, Bill Pizzalato, Henry Baxter, Jim Gelpi, Greg Carroll, Bruce Williams, and Officer Terry Coates. The family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Kemp Amacker, Dr. Gerald Callegan, Dr. Carl Luikart and St. Joseph Hospice. Share sympathies, memories, and condolences at www.CharletFuneralHome.com.
Published by The Advocate from May 17 to May 20, 2014.