Jo Elizabeth Harrison Odom was born on August 23, 1936 and fought a long, courageous battle against breast and lung cancer until April 19, 2013, when she passed away at home, surrounded by family and dear friends. She grew up in Lost Creek, West Virginia, with her six siblings: Delores, James (deceased), Fielding (Sue), Lyda (Paul Lister), Duane (Darlene) and Ed (Virginia). Jo worked as a bank teller after high school and one day traded in her '56 Chevy for a Corvair that she bought right off the showroom floor. She drove that car right down to Florida to live with her sister where, at a square dance hall, she met and fell in love with a handsome Marine guard, Jim Odom. Their married life originated in Troy, Alabama where Jim attended college and their first son, James "Rusty" was born. The family moved to Louisiana where Jim started with Shell Oil and a second son, Rodney Lynn, was born 5 years later. Another five years and a transfer to New Jersey produced daughter Elizabeth "Beth" Ann and the family was complete. After living again in La., the family was transferred in 1978 to Houston where they put down roots in Kingwood. Once settled, Jo began working for Village Builders (Exxon) where she remained until retiring in 1997. She loved working in her "trailer" and made lifelong friends with the home-builders who were part of the building boom in Kingwood. Her kids were involved in numerous sports their entire lives and Jo was a fixture at their games where, along with best friend Margo Heil, referees often called a better game once they saw and heard her in the stands.
Jo loved to gamble and was competitive her whole life. She played bingo and slots and visited casinos around the country. She was always lucky in the fall. Without fail, there was a "pot" for Super Bowl and March Madness and a game on TV. Go Mountaineers and Roll Tide!! She loved to have people around, particularly if a board game was added to the mix. She adored everyone's babies, especially her grandchildren, Trevor, Madeline, Kirby and "her baby", Ella Lynn. She relished every moment with her kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. She was the family cook and on "spaghetti night", the word would get out and everyone, family or not, would leave her house full and happy. Throughout her life, she opened her home to anyone who needed taking care of, without complaint and with open arms.
Jo was ready to do anything, anytime. Fishing trips to Sam Rayburn and Sargent, jitterbugging in the kitchen, RV'ing and tailgating Alabama games, cruises to tropical places, a beer while sitting in the sun, concerts (Michael Jackson!)... if there was something to do, she was in on it. Jim and Jo shared 50 years of marriage and countless adventures, laughs and then tears when they lost Rodney in 2008 and as their health began to fade. Jo will always be remembered as a fun-loving, generous, strong woman, who enjoyed life and the people she shared it with. Left to mourn her passing are her husband Jim, children, Rusty (Boo) and Beth, daughter in law Melinda, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and uncountable others she touched throughout her life.
To celebrate Jo's life, a viewing will be held Friday, April 26th 5-8pm at Rosewood Funeral Home - 2602 S Houston Ave., Humble, Tx (281) 441-2171. Burial will be the next day at 10 am.