She was a graduate of the Old Central Grammar School and attended Bradley Central High School. She was a lifelong resident of Cleveland and with the encouragement of Dr. Madison Trewitt began a nursing career during the World War II at Physicians & Surgeons Hospital. Nursing immediately became her passion and she became one of the first licensed practical nurses in Cleveland. Dr. E.R. Ferguson who owned the hospital and had an eye, ear nose and throat practice there, picked her to be his assistant and she worked with him until his death. Afterward, she became the assistant to Dr. Wayne McCulley, DDS, where she remained until she retired.
She loved her family, her nursing career, her home, her church, singing and most of all her Lord and Savior. Her love of singing manifested itself in the groups that she sang with. Geny and Jim sang in a gospel quartet when they were younger and she was a member of the “Andrew Sisters” in the “Lawrence Welk” group in Cleveland until her late 1980s. She was an active member of North Cleveland Baptist Church where she could be found every Sunday in Frankie Wolgamott’s Sunday school class until her health kept her from attending.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James W. “Jim” Odom; father, Wilford Goins; mother, Loma; stepmother, Ida; brother, Haven; and sister, Edna.
She was blessed with, and is survived by her two children: Barbara Ervin and husband, Don, of Cleveland, and Jimmy Odom Sr. and wife, Nickie, of Daniel Island, S.C.; six grandchildren: Neal Ervin and wife, Cherie, of Cleveland, Dwight Ervin and wife, Wendi, of St. Louis, Jill Calfee and husband, Eric, of Dalton, Ga., Jimmy Odom Jr. and wife, Jeanette, of Simpsonville, S.C., Shana Meyer and husband, Mike, of Daniel Island, S.C., and Heath Odom and wife, Kimberly, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; 17 great-grandchildren: Bradley Ervin and wife, Caroline, Laura Ervin, Drew Ervin, Brooke Ervin, Bret Ervin, Cole Calfee, Caroline Calfee, Hannah Odom, Jimmy (Jay) Odom III, Jackson Odom, Reese Odom, Grant Odom, Gabrielle (Gabby) Meyer, Jake Meyer, Ben Meyer, Cade Odom and Chase Odom; and one great-great-grandchild, Westley Ervin; sister-in-law, Pearl Goins; and nephew, Preston.
The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. today, March 30, 2012, in the chapel of Fike Funeral Home with chaplain Dwight Ervin officiating.
Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens with a white dove release ceremony concluding the service.
The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the funeral home prior to the service.
The family suggests memorials be made to North Cleveland Baptist Church, 2815 North Ocoee Street, Cleveland, TN 37312
You are invited to send a message of condolence and view the Odom family guest book at www.fikefh.com.