Richard Odsather
1941-2012
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Richard Louis "OD" Odsather, 71, died Nov. 28, 2012, with his wife and sons by his side. He fought a valiant fight against thyroid cancer.
OD was born in Anchorage to Louis and Estella (Irwin) Odsather on Sept. 29, 1941. As a kid he had a paper route, enjoyed scouting, becoming a Sea Scout and was active in DeMolay. His love of water skiing, in reality and in jest, began with time spent at his family's cabin on Wasilla Lake.
He attended Anchorage High School where he particularly enjoyed playing football and skiing. After graduating in 1959, he enrolled at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he studied engineering design, Arctic engineering and competed on the UAF cross-country ski team. His studies were interrupted to help his father build an office building in downtown Anchorage, and were further interrupted when he was drafted into the Army. It was while serving in Korea that he pursued Tae Kwan Do, achieving a second degree black belt. Returning to the states, he was assigned to Fort Greely where he took great delight in being able to 'manicure' the runway with every piece of heavy equipment he was licensed to operate.
He taught karate to the officers in the Anchorage Police Department before returning to UAF where he graduated in 1970. While at the university he met his future wife, Shirley Drury.
During the early stages of pipeline design, OD developed insulated roadways and specialized building foundations designed to resist the harsh forces of permafrost. He received several patents for these innovations. He continued working on pipeline design creating new methods for the pipe to interact with vertical support members. Bechtel transferred him with his family to the San Francisco area on two different occasions, but he always returned to Alaska.
He worked for the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, was the chief of right of way and became deputy director in the State Pipeline Coordinators Office. He was passionate about the rights accorded to Alaska at the time of statehood and was particularly proud of his work helping establish access corridors throughout the state.
After retirement, consulting took OD to Russia and China and led him to work with the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority.
OD and Shirley built their home in Fairbanks where they raised their two sons Jon and Erik. He became involved with the Boy Scouts and Fairbanks Youth Soccer as the boys grew up. Cross-country skiing was a source of great pleasure and he was so pleased when his sons took up racing in high school.
His grandchildren were a great source of excitement and pleasure. He took great interest in all their activities and loved to joke and encourage their mental strengths.
OD was proud to be a Mason and became Master of Tanana No. 3 in 2006. He was a member of the Pioneers of Alaska Igloo No. 15 and Past Exalted Ruler of Fairbanks Elks Lodge No.1551 in 1987.
He is survived by his wife Shirley, son, Jon and his wife Missy; son, Erik; grandchildren, Taylor, Mason and Aislynn; his brother, Ken and his wife Gay; his nephews, Norman and Martin; sister, Kathy; cousin, Steinar Hansen; brother-in-law, Bill Drury and his wife Barbara, and nieces and nephews, Rose, Sarah, Tim, Ben and Jenny.
OD will be remembered for his tremendous sense of humor. He had a joke for everyone and every occasion. He had a way of bending a story and catching his audience off guard, especially if he used one of his voice disguises.
The family would like to thank Dr. J. Cox, Dr. Shihadeh, Dr. Kim, Dr. Triplehorn and all their staff as well as the doctors, nurses and health care providers in the ICU at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
A memorial service will be held at
2 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, First United Methodist Church, 915 Second Ave., a reception to follow. Another service will be held in Anchorage in January, time date and place to be determined.
Now that the trials of probationary state are over, and he is beginning his final journey to the Great Architect of the Universe, may he be admitted to the temple not made with hands internal in the heavens. So Mote it be!
Arrangements were entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.

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Published in Daily News-Miner on Dec. 4, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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41 entries
January 2, 2013
January 3, 2013

I was very sorry to learn of Richard's untimely passing. We grew up together in Anchorage and graduated from Anchorage High, Class of '59. He called me out of the blue about a year ago; still had that great sense of humor. With Richard, when you put the phone down, you always remember that last joke that he just shared with you. I'll remember him fondly for the rest of my life.

Owen Jones,
Scottsdale, Arizona
December 17, 2012
I was so sad to hear that one of the wonderful lights within this world had been darkened. My heart and prayers goes out to the family during this time. OD was a wonderful man and I thoroughly enjoyed each and everyday that I worked with him at the Joint Pipeline Office. Into our lives, people come and make lasting impressions that mold our personalities and experiences and I'm pleased to say OD made one of the greatest impacts that I'll always cherish.
Marietta Houston
December 11, 2012
I remember OD from UAF. He was always a lot of fun. I think that he was the basis of much of the Engineer Day shenanigans. Shirley, you completed OD and made him great man and deeply loved by all who knew him.
Phil Richardson
December 9, 2012
Sorry to hear OD had passed. I have fond memory's from our days working at DOT. My prayers go out to Shirley and the whole family. He will be greatly missed.
Teresa Anderson
December 9, 2012
OD will be building a pipeline in the undiscovered country from whose borne no travler returns, and will be telling ole jokes to all he meets
Jim Howard
December 8, 2012
Thinking of you, Shirley. Blessings. Jo Ryman Scott, NYC
December 7, 2012
Dear Shirley and family. OD was a special friend . I fondly remember the numerous times that he would come into my office with a new Ole' and Swen joke. His Swedish dialect was delightful. I remember his work on the North Slope working on the ground insulation projects located adjacent to the Put 1 well and the Frontier Rock and Sand offices.Thank you for sharing him with all of us. The world is a better place because of him. I'll miss his wonderful smile. God bless you all. Jim Holm
Jim Holm
December 7, 2012
Just so sorry and surprised to hear OD passed away. The obituary so captured the memory we have of OD and revealed the rich and interesting life he led. As for the humor-yes! A person always had to have ears and brain fully engaged for a conversation with OD because you knew a pun or
two was coming your way. Our sympathies on your loss.
Doug and Susie Crevensten
Doug and Susie Crevensten
December 7, 2012
"Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know that they are happy" Author Unknown.
Ahhh, childhood memories of Richard. He was so funny and always delighted us when he came to visit the Donald Irwin family, Uncle Donnie, Auntie Maurie, Beth, Andrea, and Robert. We loved him dearly and will never forget all of the wonderful visits we had with him and his family.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time. Love you all, Beth Irwin Ahern
Lizabeth Ahern
December 7, 2012
Blessing and prayers for all the family. May your wonderful memories keep you going.
Don & Sandra Hanson
December 6, 2012
I will miss the phone calls asking if Jeffie can come out and play.
My prayers for all of you as you continue your life's journey with out OD.
Doris Ayres
December 6, 2012
Shirley and family---

All of Alaska's Masonic family extend our condolences to you. We have lost a great friend. The fond memories we shared will remain with us forever and enrich our daily lives. OD was one of a kind and the jokes he told were an unforgettable part of his warm personality. He was greatly loved by each of us. God bless.
Lee Seagondollar
December 5, 2012
OD is my cousin and I will miss him more than I can say. He has always been my friend, encouraging, funny and no one can ever take his place. I am very sorry for your loss family and I love you. You are in my prayers day and night. Neeci xoxoxox
Denise Boss
December 5, 2012
OD was my classmate, colleague, fellow pipeline builder and fellow traveler in China. He had kind and cheerful words for everyone. We will miss him.
Ed Clarke
December 5, 2012
You will always be in our hearts. We will remember your smile and laughter always. God bless you and your family during this time and always.
Karen and Jim LeFlore
December 5, 2012
To light your way.
Andrea (Irwin) Silva
December 5, 2012
Anyone who knew OD knew him as a Master Jokester. It was a real coup to give him a joke he'd hadn't heard before. they also knew him as a generous friend who was always ready to lend a helping hand. OD will be greatly missed.
December 4, 2012
Richard, whom i have known most of my life, was always an inspiration and a joy to be around. He had a wonderful, unquenchable spirit and that smile...amazing. I am so sorry for Odsather's all, bless you. His spirit survives in all of us, as we remember him. Terry Dale.
Terry Dale
December 4, 2012
Shirley and family,

Sorry to hear of the loss of OD.

He will always remain the student in my classes and for his contribution to my tenure at the university.

Phil Van Veldhuizen professor emeritus

SorryI am out of town and will not be at your service. I will be there in spirit.
December 4, 2012
My thoughts and prayers go out to Shirley and her family. I first met Shirley and Dick at a craft show 10-15 years ago where we both had booths-I couldn't believe Dick's sense of humor, the way he turned everything I said into a pun! I looked forward to the "groaner" jokes he would crack every time we ran into each other. He was a delight to know - the world is emptier tonight without him, but I'm sure he is laying them in the aisles even now!
Linda Covert
December 4, 2012
Shirley and boys and the whole family, we are sorry for your loss. It was fun working with him and we enjoyed all the Mexican dinners we shared with you both. O.D. was a very special person and I'm convinced he's already got them laughing in heaven.
Ron and Judy Samsal
December 4, 2012
Our condolences to you and your family, Shirley. OD was one of the first people I met in 1967 at Hess Hall, UAF. That great beaming smile-what a welcome! I hope the celestial temple is fully aware of who's coming. So Mote it be!
Ronan and Barbara Short
Ronan Short
December 4, 2012
I too am saddened by your loss. OD, or Dick as I remember him, were good friends for quite a few school years - grade, Jr. High, and Anchorage High School back then. We did get to see each other again many years later; I think while he was working for ADOTPF in Fairbanks. He was always a great friend.
Warren Krotke
December 4, 2012
Goodbye OD, I will miss your corny jokes and warm smile. I hope Heaven has been warned you are coming! My thoughts go out to Shirley, Jon and Erik.
Bruce Miller
December 4, 2012
Sorry to hear about OD. We had a great time when we had worked together in the beginning of the Alaskan Pipeline.

Our thoughts are with you Shirley.
Oscar & Florence Louie
December 4, 2012
I'm so sorry for your loss, and ours. It was so much to reconnect with OD at our 50th reunion, class of '59. I learned that OD and I shared a love of family history research and the Odsather roots in Alaska are deep and long.
Sandy Carter-Duff
December 4, 2012
So sorry for your loss, Shirley. OD was a great guy and I sure have many happy memories of times shared with him. Remember the lobster cook-out at your house for the ANGTS geologists? I remember when OD and I delivered two freezers to the North Slope. Selling 'em to Eskimos? No, to preserve our soil samples! We managed to work together on many occasions: Alyeska, ANGTS, DOT&PF, Sakhalin. OD, may you Rest in Peace!!!
Bill McMullen
December 4, 2012

RIP OD, I will never forget the fun you brought to Prudoe Bay. I still talk about you driving the purloined bus so we could skinny dip in the Arctic Ocean
Lew Erhart
December 4, 2012
I am so sorry for your loss. I met Richard when aI was a freshman at UA-Fairbanks. I will never for the fun we had at the student union at a few dances. He was a great friend that first year and made me feel very comfortable in my freshman year. Thank you Richard for that. My prayers go out to you!
Dianna (Brewer) Cline
December 4, 2012
I will miss you OD. Enjoy your next journey.
Laura Stewart
December 4, 2012
I am so sorry to hear the OD has passed on, he was such a wonderful person with a great sense of humor. My prayers are with the family as they are all very special.
Susanne Calzada
December 4, 2012
Our friend will be sorely missed in this walk of life. Our smypathy goes out to the Odsather family. Don Lynch and Dot Cruse
December 4, 2012
My heartfelt condolences to Kathy, who was a student of mine so very long ago, and all of Rick's family, whom I never met, for their loss. I first met Rick when he came to Rick Hill's APKA (Anchorage Police Karate Association) classes. He was SO much fun, and a true master at Tae Kwan Do...So many fun stories....he was a joy to work out with. We tried for a LONG time to get Rick O. to spar with Rick Hill...NO such luck...they'd just smile and refuse...
Mike Pickett
December 4, 2012
Shirley and family, I am so sorry for your huge loss! OD was such a very memorable person, who always brought laughter and smiles to everyone he touched. Blessings of peace and strength to you.
Carol Colp
December 4, 2012
What a great guy!
Jerry Wasson
December 4, 2012
A terrible loss for his family and friends. I always relied on him to tell me a joke or two and enjoyed stories of his travels.
Janet Moyer, Ph.D. and fellow '59er
Janet Moyer
December 4, 2012
Knowing OD for many years has been one of my lifes greatest pleasures. His wonderful humor kept us in stitches when we most needed to laugh. I will miss you dearly, my friend and, I will never forget you.
Jeff Ayres
December 4, 2012
I'm so sorry Shirley. You will be in my thoughts.
Janet Myers
December 4, 2012
SAd to hear of Richard's passing. We grew up as neighbors and they were good times that will always be remembered.
John Schwamm
December 4, 2012
So sorry to hear of Richards passing. WE grew up together in Anchorage. I knew the whole family well. Our thoughts and prayers are with his whole extended family in these sad times.

Larry & Karen Bivins
Green Valley, AZ,
December 4, 2012
What a wonderful journey through life! Fellow Class ´59 member
Boyer Brown
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