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ODOM RAYMOND E. ODOM State Department (US AID) Executive Raymond Edward Odom, 91, a retired executive of the Agency for International Development (AID), died March 18, 2013, at the Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, VA. Mr. Odom was born in Kansas City, MO, the only child of Ira Paschel Odom and Della May Myers Odom, of Chillicothe, MO. Mr. Odom came to Washington in 1940, when he was 19 years old, and worked briefly for the Department of War, enlisted in the Army, and became the youngest Master Sergeant in the Army in 1943. While in the military, he was an aide to Harry L. Hopkins in the FDR White House, assigned to the American Embassy in Moscow, and later assigned to the Office of W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President. His career included positions in the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Disarmament at the White House, and the General Services Administration. He joined AID in 1962, and held increasingly responsible positions in the Vietnam Bureau, the East Asia Bureau, and the Africa Bureau. He retired in 1980 as Director, Executive Management Staff, of the Africa Bureau. Mr. Odom was a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. For over 50 years, Mr. Odom resided in the Hollin Hills community of Alexandria with his beloved wife of 65 years, Norma, whom he met at the American Embassy in Moscow in 1945, when she was working there as well after World War II. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Barbara Odom Pagos (James) of South Orange, NJ, Nancy Odom Perry of Hingham, MA, and Ann Odom Matticks (Shawn) of Charleston, SC; seven grandchildren, Elizabeth Pagos (Sergio Chaparro), Kathryn Pagos, Victoria Pagos, Dylan Perry, Nicholas Perry, Nathan Matticks, and Elliott Matticks; three nieces, six great-nieces and nephews, and three great-great nieces and nephews. There will be a memorial celebration of Mr. Odom's life in April, followed by inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.There will be a memorial celebration of Mr. Odom's life in April, followed by inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Published in The Washington Post on Mar. 24, 2013