Leon O'Daniel
ANNA - Leon Merle O'Daniel, 76, died at 6:30 a.m. Monday, March 25, 2013, in the St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo. He was born Jan. 13, 1937 in Anna, the son of Merle Keith and Esther V. Kupfer O'Daniel.

Leon is survived by his loving wife, Nancy J. O'Daniel of Anna; one son, Leon M. (Gina) O'Daniel Jr. of Renton, Wash.; one daughter, Melissa O'Daniel and fiancé, David L. Franklin II of Anna; five grandchildren, Meghan N. O'Daniel, Kaitlyn B. O'Daniel, Justin J. O'Daniel, Brandon M. O'Daniel and David Lee Franklin III; cousins, Janet L. (Kupfer) James, Esther M. (Kupfer) Penrod, Valda F. (Kupfer) Hart, Anna J. (Kupfer) Swan, and Earlene C. (Kupfer) Salander; other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and one son, Sean M. O'Daniel.

Leon graduated Anna-Jonesboro Community High School in 1955, and promptly left to serve his country in the United States Navy. Leon met the love of his life, Nancy Jeanne Campbell O'Daniel at General Electric in Syracuse, N.Y., while on a training assignment, and were married shortly thereafter on Nov. 2, 1962. Leon led a long and distinguished 20 year career, serving on the USS Brooke during the Vietnam War, and receiving numerous awards and medals, including the Navy Commendation Medal.

In 1976, Leon began his career in real estate, starting as a real estate agent for Cherry Hill Realty, and shortly thereafter opening his own real estate company, Leon O'Daniel Realtors. In the 1980s, Leon's company grew and became Century 21 Leon O'Daniel Realtors. Leon was very active in many community organizations during this time and regularly called Bingo or was at the barbeque for Knights of Columbus fundraisers. In 1998, Leon started a new chapter in his life, opening the O'Daniel Appraisal Company with his wife Nancy.

Leon loved his family, playing with his grandkids, and rooting for his favorite sports teams. It was a rare occasion when one wouldn't find Leon in front of the TV cheering on the Boston Celtics or the San Diego Chargers.

Funeral Mass will be at 1 p.m. Monday, April 1, at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cobden, with Father Uriel Salamanca officiating. Interment will be in the Anna Cemetery with graveside military honors conducted by the Carroll P. Foster Post 3455 of the VFW in Anna and the Illinois National Guard Funeral Honors Team of Marion.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. Monday at Rendleman and Hileman Funeral Home in Anna.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Bethany Village Pantry. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

To view this obituary or leave an online condolence for the family visit www.rendlemanhilemanfh.com.

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Published by The Southern Illinoisan from Mar. 26 to Mar. 31, 2013.
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6 Entries
Nancy and family,We will always have fond memories of Leon. May God strenghten you in the days ahead. In Christ,
Russ & Sheryl Meadows
March 30, 2013
Nancy, Sharon and I extend our sincere condolences to you and your family. Leon was, as you know, a dear friend for many years, especially during High School. It was always a pleasure to visit with you and Leon during our vacations in Anna. We want you to know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time for all of you. Leon will be missed.


Phil and Sharon Hinkle
March 27, 2013
Sorry to hear this. We have been neighbors for years. Our prayers are with the family.
Matt Wettig
March 27, 2013
Truly sorry about to hear of Leon's passing. As a classmate, Leon always brought a smile to our faces. He will be missed.
Donald Egelston
March 27, 2013
Nancy I saw on St Mary's Facebook about Leon and I truly am sorry because I know how you loved him dearly and after being in his company for so many years as husband and wife, you will miss him so! Know that he was a special man with a wonderful spirit that shone thru in his great smile! May he be blessed with eternal life and love in the peaceful kingdom of the Lord reunited with your son in the land of the living! Jesus and his Mother Mary give you the comfort of your hope and your faith in a loving God who wants us with him! Debra and Joe Casleton
March 26, 2013
Nancy and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad was such a wonderful person. God bless you all at this time of sorrow. Tina Dalton.
March 26, 2013