The Hon. Senator William Hamilton “Billy” O’Dell, of Greenwood, South Carolina, died January 7th, 2016. He was born October 11, 1938, in Ware Shoals, South Carolina. He was the beloved only child of the late William Benjamin and Sara Francis O’Dell of Ware Shoals, South Carolina. He was educated in the Ware Shoals public school system and Camden Military Academy in Camden, South Carolina. Billy went on to receive a B.A. from The Citadel in 1960. He returned to Ware Shoals to help restore the family business, O’Dell Mop and Broom, when his father’s health started to fail. He met and married Gayle Tisdale O’Dell in 1965 and shared 50 loving years together. Through their partnership, Billy became a loving father of two children, Papa to three grandchildren, a successful CEO of O’Dell Corporation, and an honored public servant. He held multiple positions that encouraged educational and community development, served in the South Carolina National Guard, served on countless boards, and was elected consecutively for 27-year tenure in the South Carolina State Senate. Billy became an unforgettable and integral part of his local community, the districts he represented and the entire state of South Carolina. During his lifetime, Billy O’Dell positively impacted the lives of everyone around him. He was the center of his family; the steadfast rock on which his business partners, constituents, friends and family could rely. Thou he did not seek recognition, his service and commitment to his district was recognized and honored with multiple civic and state awards. He held honorary doctorates from The Citadel, Medical University of South Carolina, and Lander University. He will be mourned and missed by many, but those most precious to him, left to cherish his memory, are his wife, Gayle Tisdale O’Dell, his two children, William B “Chip” O’Dell II and Michelle O’Dell Foster, and his three grandchildren, Hannah Abigail Harrison, William Ridge “Will” O’Dell and Lara Elizabeth O’Dell. With great breadth and magnitude he touched the life of the state of South Carolina. His core values, his dedication to public service and his generous spirit, taught us all to Stand Tall. Funeral service will be conducted at 2:3 p.m. Monday, January 11, 2016, at First Presbyterian Church in Greenwood. Private burial will be in Oakbrook Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be members of the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard and the South Carolina National Guard. Honorary escort will be Ward Russell Burns, Donald Haskell Jackson, Donny H. Burkett, Augustus Paul O’Dell, Ben Warner Legare, Jr., William E. Gilmer, John Calvin Calhoun, Jr., James Edward Creech, Allen Alexander Geiger, Jr., along with active members of the South Carolina State Senate. The family will receive friends at Blyth Funeral Home from 4:00 to 6:00 Sunday afternoon. Memorials may be made to Gesthsemane Church, Attn: Donna Young, 104 Burns Bridge Road, Ware Shoals, SC 29692, or to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, www.woundedwarriorproject.org, in Memory of William “Billy” O’Dell. Blyth Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the O’Dell family.
Posted in: GreenvilleOnline.com
Posted on: 2016-01-08
Link to original obituary: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2016/01/07/sen-billy-odell-ware-shoals-dies-senators-say/78408818/