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January 28, 1929 - August 29, 2017

Odell was born January 28, 1929 to Odell and Mattie (Hanson) Lee at Spring Grove, Minnesota.  He graduated from the Mabel High School in 1947 and graduated from Winona State University in 1951.

Odell entered military service, Army branch, in September, 1951. For most of his two years of service he was stationed at Darmstadt, Germany.

Following his honorable discharge in September, 1953, Odell worked in retail at Powers Department Store in downtown Minneapolis.  In 1955 he returned to Mabel and bought his father’s insurance agency which he owned and operated until he retired on October 31, 2009.

On august 10, 1957 he married Dorene Peterson of Mabel.  Odell and Dorene were blessed with four wonderful children.  Over the years, eleven grandchildren and three great grandchildren were welcomed into the Lee family. 

Odell cherished his family.  He loved the frequent family cookouts and the many vacations at lake resorts and travelling by motorhome to visit places of interest around the United States.  All who knew Odell knew how much he looked forward to and enjoyed the weekly “Happy Hours” he had with his family, right up to the last Saturday before he died.

In his earlier years Odell enjoyed bowling with the local guys at the local bowling alley.  Odell was one of the charter members at Ma-Cal-Grove and Thursdays you’d find him on the golf course with best friends Ken, Doc Karli, and Torgie.  Odell was one of the original members of the Mabel Grenadiers.  He played his trombone in countless Main Street Mabel-Nite concerts and marching in area parades, representing the Mabel Legion Post.

Odell believed that it was important to contribute his time to the community.  He loved Steam Engine Days and gave it his time for nearly 50 years, many of those as General Chairman or Co-Chairman.

He was past President of the Mabel Business Association and Past President of the Mabel Lions Club.  He was recognized for having 50 years of perfect attendance by being presented with a Life Membership.  He was very proud of receiving the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellow Award, awarded for dedicated humanitarian service by the Lions International Foundation.

Odell was also presented with Life Membership in the American Legion Post #299 where he held the positions of Commander and Adjutant. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for many years.  He was a past President, Treasurer, and council member of the Mabel First Lutheran Church where he was a lifetime member; past Zone Chairman of District Lions Club; past board member of the State Association of Insurance Agents; and Past Master of the Masonic Lodge, member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, and the Osman Temple Shrine.

Odell enjoyed working with the youth and dedicated ten years of his time as Scoutmaster of the Mabel Boy Scout Troop.  Over those ten years he took dozens of scouts on several camping trips; some short, some long.  He was passionate that the boys not only learn survival skills, but that they learned to love and appreciate the beauty and wonder of the great outdoors.

Odell died Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at Green Lea Manor in Mabel with his family by his side at the age of 88.

Odell is survived by his wife Dorene; two sons Blake Lee of Mabel and Lyndon Lee of Mabel; two daughters Paula (Chris) Lee-Kast of Kasson, and Theresa Goodman of Rochester; grandchildren Ryan Lee, Ben (Sarah) Lee, Dustin Lee, Allison Twite, Christine Lee, Mitchell Lee, Molly Lee, Colton Peterson, Alex Peterson, Elise Peterson, and Grand Goodman; great grandchildren, Logan Twite, Layla Twite, and Keaton Lee; a brother Jim (Edith) Lee of Littleton, Colorado; sister-in-law Delores Ruffridge of Mabel; and many nieces and nephews, and cousins.

Odell was preceded in death by a stillborn son, Bradford; parents Odell and Mattie Lee; mother-in-law and father-in-law Arland and Alma Peterson; brother-in-law Dale Peterson; sister-in-law and husband Delone and Charles Loftsgaarden; and brother-in-law Richard Ruffridge.

Memorial services will be at the Mabel First Lutheran Church on Saturday, September 23, at 11 a.m.  Visitation will take place before the service beginning at 9a.m.  A graveside service will be held at the Mabel Lutheran Cemetery immediately following the church service, with military honors from the American Legion. 

Memorials in Odell’s memory are suggested to the Shriners Children’s’ Hospital, Lions International Eye Bank, or Mabel First Lutheran Church.

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