Jul. 5, 2014 Greenville Pitt County North Carolina, USA
Elizabeth Marie Williams Odham (April 15, 1924 - July 5, 2014)
Dr. Elizabeth W. Odham, 90, of Grifton, lifelong educator and widow of the late Dr. James W. Odham, died July 5, 2014 at Cypress Glen in Greenville, NC. She was the only surviving member of her immediate family. Dr. Odham was the daughter of William Lawrence and Elizabeth Grady Williams of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Prior to moving to Cypress Glen in 2010, she resided on Grainger Station Road in Grifton for sixty-six years. "Lib" has taught and has touched diverse young lives during her twenty-three-year teaching career. She taught four years in the public schools in Kinston and in Lenoir County before joining the faculty of Lenoir Community College. She retired early to care for her husband, Winton, who died in 2001 after a twenty-one-year battle with cancer.
While an English instructor at Contentnea High School, Dr. Odham trained East Carolina students who were preparing for the B.S. degree in English. At Lenoir Community College, she again trained East Carolina English students who were working towards the Master of Arts degree in college teaching. Her multiple degrees (B.S.), (M.A.), and (Ed.D.) attest to her qualifications as a teacher-administrator.
Dr. Odham began her teaching career at Grainger High School in 1958. In 1965, she enrolled as a night-commuter student at Duke University and as a Duke day student on Saturdays. In 1972, both she and her husband, Winton, graduated with records of distinction from Duke. As a Duke student, "Lib" was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an honorary society in education. A profile of her educational honors and accomplishments appear in the 1976 Marquis edition of Who's Who Among American College Women.
Her advice to her many students throughout her teaching career was to strive to be the best of which you are academically capable. Then, be happy and satisfied with the way you have trained yourself. Yes, she always stressed that a student's "grasp should exceed his reach-or what's a heaven for?" She offers thanks for the beautiful years that "I spent with you students - each one of you were special and brought me memorable years of success and happiness! Thanks for the memories!"
She and her husband were life-long members of Sharon United Methodist Church. Dr. Odham will be entombed with her husband at Pinelawn Memorial Park, where a graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 with Reverend Allen Ham officiating. The family will receive friends after the service at the cemetery and other times at the home of her daughter.
She is survived by one daughter, Becky Berry and her husband Ted Berry of Kinston and one grandson, Warren Berry of Brooklyn, New York, who was always a pleasure and who occupied a special "niche" in her later years. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews; dear friend, Tim Warren of Grifton; and her faithful feline companion, K-9.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials may be made to Lenoir Community College Foundation, Drs. James and Elizabeth Odham Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 188, Kinston, NC 28502-0188, where she taught and made many friends. It was at Lenoir Community College that she matured into a "special educator".
Howard-Carter Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.