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Hollis Odel Bynum

1941 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Hollis Odel Bynum Obituary
Hollis Odel Bynum – "Hoss" went to walk in the garden with Jesus on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017, at the age of 75. He spent his last hours listening to hymns at his home in La Luz surrounded by family who loved him dearly.

Hoss was born in Carlsbad, NM, on August 16, 1941, to Earl and Geneva Bynum. He grew up in many places in southern New Mexico with two brothers and two sisters. During high school in Cloudcroft, NM, he made lifelong friends and met his wife, Linda (George) – although they wouldn't marry until quite a few years after they first met. He loved cars, playing basketball, country music, and never missed an opportunity to dance. Although he was quite the rebel, his teachers and principal trusted him to drive the school bus to ball games around the state. While in college, Hoss earned enough credits to have two degrees. However, because he couldn't decide what he wanted to do when he grew up, he never took two classes in the same direction.

In 1964, Hoss was drafted into the US Army. In 1965, he served in the 1st Cavalry Division and bravely fought for his country in Vietnam. His love for the United States of America and her ideals was evident in the way he talked, the way he dressed, and in every aspect of his life. When he returned from the war, Hoss worked in Cloudcroft and spent a lot of time dancing – he loved to dance! On December 3, 1966, Hoss asked George to lunch (on her – she still has the IOU). They went dancing that night and every night until they finally tied the knot on June 3, 1967. Did I mention he loved to dance? When Hoss married George on June 3, 1967, he gained another father and mother, not in-laws. From that moment until the ranch sold many years later, Hoss spent almost every weekend cowboying with Papa Bill on the ranch in the beautiful Sacramento Mountains. Hoss loved Papa Bill more than words could ever express.

In 1969, Hoss continued his commitment to community and country by joining the Alamogordo Department of Public Safety as a policeman. He spent the next seventeen years as a law enforcement officer with DPS and the Otero County Sheriff's Office. He was quite formidable at 6'4" with a stern look and a gruff voice. He didn't take any flack and was known for telling the bad guys, "You can go the hard way or you can go the easy way, but you're gonna go." However, his CB radio handle was "Gentle Ben" and those who knew him will attest that he had a heart of gold and would (and many times did) give anyone the shirt off his back.

Hoss became a dad in December of 1970 to his only child, Holly. He would spend the next 46+ years butting heads with his mini-me. Hoss was a loving father with his own unique ways of parenting. Holly would often ask Hoss if he could do this or make that. His response was always, "Have you ever seen anything I can't do?" Until the day he passed, Holly never saw anything Hoss couldn't do.

When Hoss left law enforcement, he spent the rest of his "official working years" as the owner/operator of Alamo Tire Service. He brought that same gruff but giving spirit into his business and spent many years serving the customers of Alamogordo. After he retired in 1996, Hoss' job title became "Head Coordinator" and he spent many days enjoying his many odd jobs – parking lot cleanin', lawn mowin', and meter readin' for the Otero County Coop which allowed him to return to his beloved Sacramento Mountains.

Hoss' life story would not be complete without mentioning a few other important people in his life. Hoss loved his grandchildren Riley (Bubba) and Jurnie (Fred) – no boys, but he gave them boy names. He also adored his great grandkids Kenzie (Bob) and the only boy in the bunch - Boston (Boliver Keg***). Hoss also had many amazing friends he met with over coffee to solve the problems of the world – oh, the stories they can tell! Although Hoss would deny it, he was an animal lover to his core. The many furry members of his life brought him great joy – Mama Dog, Bodie, Roper, Bill, Arabella, Morris, and the list could go on and on. Finally, Hoss loved his son-in-law John like the son he never had. On May 29, John lost his hero and his friend.

Hoss is survived by his wife of 50 years, Linda "George"; daughter Holly and her husband John – Hoss' favorite son-in-law; granddaughters Riley Littlejohn (Brian) and Jurnie, great-grandchildren Kenzie and Boston; brother Jimmy Bryant (Shirley); sisters Earlene Ellett (Jim) and Charlene Bynum; sisters-in-law Jacque Day and Jeannell Clements (Keith); many special nieces, nephews, and cousins; and many close, dearly loved friends.

Hoss was preceded in death by his parents, brother Bobby, in-laws Papa Bill and Nana Jean Davis, and niece Cammie.

We will celebrate Hoss' life at 3:00pm on Sunday June 11, 2017, at his home – 19 Water Street, La Luz, NM. Parking is available on Water Street, at the Head Start (old La Luz Elementary), and at the La Luz Post Office. All friends and family of Hoss are invited to join us in this celebration. There will be a reception following the service at Casa de Suenos in Tularosa – we hope you all can join us for Dutch treat to laugh, cry, and remember Hoss.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from June 4 to July 3, 2017
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