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John Arthur ("Art") Odell

John Arthur ("Art") Odell Passed away at home on January 19 with Mary, his beloved wife, by his side. Art was born in Salt Lake City on June 23, 1930, to George and Maryann Odell. His father's career in early commercial aviation caused the family to move around the country, and Art attended several different schools. Like his dad, aviation would become a lifelong interest and at age 16, with a brand-new pilot's license, he flew his first plane. In 1947, TWA transferred the family to Rome, Italy, for two years. Art loved the beauty and history of Rome, wandering the old city with his brother, Tom, and learning to speak Italian fluently. Later, with his natural linguistic talent, he would master French as well. After returning to the States, he attended the University of Maryland, served in the Air Force ROTC and graduated with Honors in Journalism. He began his writing career in Maryland as a reporter with the Glen Burnie Gazette, and was the only person ever hired after sending in just one freelance story over the phone. His career later took him to J. Walter Thompson Advertising in Detroit, in San Francisco as Vice President and Creative Director and in New York as Vice President and Group Head on the Ford Motor account. In 1971, he returned to Marin to form John Odell Advertising and collaborated for many years with his close friend, Edward Sarraille. Art was a true old-school gentleman, a Renaissance Man of boundless creativity and a passionate interest in the outdoors, philosophy, art, language, music, woodworking and foreign affairs. He loved his workshop and was always doing projects around his home. He loved the isolation and tranquility of the Nevada desert and spent many summers camping in its most remote regions. He was an incredible artist, creating wonderful line drawings and sketches and hilarious cartoons. He loved Paris and the French language and he and Mary had many lovely vacations in France, along with happy summers hiking and camping around the American west. He loved reading western novels in French and always enjoyed watching reruns of the TV show "Gunsmoke." But Art will be remembered most by all who knew him for his kind and gentle ways, his sensitivity, his sweet smile, and his unbelievable bravery, courage and good humor during many years of illness. He is survived by Mary, his wife of 44 years, his sons Brian (Gwen), Van (Rebeca) and Glenn, his grand-daughters Jennifer, Lindsay and Amber, his sister Marie, his aunt Terry and many nieces and nephews. Special thanks to Dr. James Adams for many years of loving care. A celebration of his life for family and close friends will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ChildFund International, 2821 Emerywood Parkway, Richmond, Virginia 23294 or the .

Published in Marin Independent Journal from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2013
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