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Nelly A. Odondi

Obituary
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Odondi, Nelly A. GUILDERLAND Nelly Adhiambo Odondi, age 48, a resident of Guilderland passed away on July 14, 2014 surrounded by family following a long battle with breast cancer. Born December 5, 1965 in Bondo, Kenya to Benjamin Odero Ojoo and Millicent Hulda Akelo, she attended Alliance Girls High School. She was married to Dr. Maurice Odondi of Excelsior College with whom she lived in a few different places-including Nairobi, Kenya and Toronto, Canada before settling in Albany County in 1998. Nelly had an exemplary career -- first obtaining a degree in law at the University of Nairobi, then serving as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya in the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya, then a master in public administration at the University at Albany, culminating in her successful tenure at the New York State Division of the Budget in Albany. Nelly brought her fierce intellect and passion for progressive reform to her work in her 13 years as a manager overseeing the policy area of special education at the Division. Her exemplary work in the area of education at the Division was recognized -- earning both the Outstanding Employee Award and the Dr. Howard F. Miller Memorial Award, in recognition of outstanding commitment and analytical excellence. Beloved and admired by her colleagues, Nelly blended personal conviction, true compassion and intellectual rigor in her approach to special education policy. As one of her colleagues in the not-for-profit community said, "Nelly touched the lives of so many children and families that she never met through her hard work and dedication in the DOB. For all of them, many thanks." While her impact on special education policy will endure, she will be greatly missed. Nelly loved listening to music, enjoyed some basketball and tennis. She is survived by her loving husband of 25 years, Maurice Odondi; her son, Benjamin (23 years old) and her daughter, Elizabeth (10 years old). Nelly's siblings include brothers, Danstan Ajulu and Henry Ochieng "Kotonya", and sisters, Barbara Achieng Ojoo and the late Millicent Ajwang. Nelly also had many, step sisters, brothers, cousins, nephews and nieces. Calling hours will be held on Friday, July 18, 2014 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Applebee Funeral Home, 403 Kenwood Ave., Delmar. Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 19 at Bethlehem Community Church, 201 Elm Ave., Delmar. Burial will follow the service in Memory Gardens Cemetery, Colonie. Relatives and friends are welcome to a reception at Bethlehem Community Church, 201 Elm Ave., Delmar, Saturday, from 2 to 5 p.m. Contributions in memory of Nelly are welcome and should be mailed to Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region, New York, 101 State St., Schenectady, NY 12305. applebeefuneralhome.com
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Funeral Home
Applebee Funeral Home
403 Kenwood Ave.
Delmar, NY 12054
518- 439-2715
Published in Albany Times Union from July 17 to July 18, 2014
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