OTTUMWA — Ruth Louise O’Dell, 97, of 418 N. Ash, died at 10:51 p.m. March 25, 2014, at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.
She was born May 10, 1916, in Phelps County, Mo., to Claude and Julia Woods Merrell. She married Paul C. O’Dell on April 2, 1939. He preceded her in death on March 11, 1989.
Ruth was a graduate of Rolla High School and earned a teacher’s certificate. She taught for three years in Missouri prior to her marriage. Ruth and her husband moved to Ottumwa, where she was a “stay-at-home” wife and mother.
She was a member of the First Church of God where she was active in the Ladies Society. Ruth cooked for youth camps and volunteered for many things at the church. She was a 4-H leader when her children were growing up.
Surviving are two sons, Edward (Janice) O’Dell of Blakesburg and James Bryan (Roxanne) O’Dell of Unionville, Iowa; a daughter, Norma (Jack) Zesiger of Ottumwa; five grandchildren, Pam Eklund, Scott (Jayne) Zesiger, Sarah (Doug) Graham, Nicole O’Dell (fiancé Takeyoshi Horie) and Clark O’Dell; four great-grandchildren, Cole Eklund, Raegan Graham, Brian (Chelsea) Zesiger and Tyler Zesiger; two stepgreat-grandsons, Tristan and Connor Graham.
She was preceded in death by a son, Ronald Eugene O’Dell; a daughter, Martha Ann O’Dell; three brothers, Everett, Clarence and Orval Merrell.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Stanley Reiley officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Lawn Cemetery.
Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Friday with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.
Memorials may be made to the First Church of God.