2017-11-09 / Obituaries

In Memory Of Our Beloved Parents Leona Oden and Ret/Dec MSgt. Calvin Oden

Leona (Oni) Oden was born January 1935 in Henderson, Texas. Mother passed away in Redding, California where she resided for a short time. On October 22, 2017, she stood before God All Mighty as loved ones preceding her gathered to witness her blessed arrival. Among them were: Her husband Ret/Dec MSgt. Calvin Oden

USAF: her parents, Lonnie Ritchie and

Eva Langford Ritchie, brothers: Lonnie Ritchie and Gene

Ritchie: grandparents, aunts and uncles: granddaughter Emily Oden Zuspan and nephews, Brian Buford and Brett

Thompson. May they all Rest In Peace.

While born in Texas, Leona’s family would soon move to Porterville, California where she would loving call home and where she would meet her future husband, our Dad. Leona and Calvin were married on News Years Eve at the stroke of twelve, January 1st 1953 and their adventures together began. Mother stood in support of Dad’s military career, a man who served proudly in the Korean and Vietnam War. Mother was relentlessly strong in nature which served her well as a military wife. They traveled this nation and abroad. While in France, their children Rick Oden and Taura Oden King, were born. We would again enjoy the history of Europe while stationed in England, visiting Scotland and we faced the realities of war while in the Philippines.

Mom loved to dance, and into Dad’s arms she would gently go, her petticoat would whirl, as Dad twirled her around the world. Leona was so full of song and laughter, the life of every party. Her family, all self taught singers and musicians would put on quite a show during family reunions. Grandma would play the piano, Uncle Steve the guitar and grandpa would sing along with his daughters and sons; I can still hear them as their voices still echo in my heart; “daddy sang bass mama sang tenor.” Leona was a talented singer song writer as were her sisters. During our tour in South Dakota, Leona would embark upon a professional singing career.

Leona’s background in sales would prove to be an asset. She joined Max Factor and became one of Mr. Factors leading make-up-artists. She took to the skies with Max Factor and traveled again throughout this country and abroad. While living in Texas, Dad retired from the military in 1974. They began building homes and found their way to Brownsboro where they built their retirement home. They would then devote 15 years of their life as foster parents caring for others children. Mom was magical with babies, saving many from their failing bodies. Leona and Calvin lived in Brownsboro together for 19 years until Dad passed. Mom would remain in Brownsboro for another 19 years. They led an adventurous life and were God loving people.

Leona and Calvin Oden are survived by their children: Rick Oden and Taura Oden King, their granddaughters: Amy Perry Ashton, Jennifer Oden Addington, Cassey Oden Blue and grandson, Rick Oden, sisters: Genni Felling, Bette Mininger, Vada Garrett, Sharon Ritchie, her brother: Steve Ritchie and her great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Family will gather at Concord Cemetery in Chandler, Texas for a private ceremony on November 10, 2017 at 2pm. Leona and Calvin Oden’s life will be celebrated as their ashes shall be joined and laid to rest. In memory of our amazing parents; Mom and Dad shall set out on a new journey together, to the Promise Land. May you both dance among the stars and may Mom shall again, sing her songs.

You Are Free-Oh How Sweet-You Are Free.

Our memories of you will live on in our hearts and know you are deeply loved and missed !

Songs honoring Leona Oden and Ret/Dec MSgt. Calvin Oden: Wayfaring Stranger: Amazing Grace: High On The Mountain by Vince Gil: How Great Thou Art by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gil: In The Arms Of An Angel by Sarah McLachlan: Swing Low Sweet Chariot by Etta James.

For those wishing to honor Leona and Calvin Oden, know our parents stood for our Veterans and abused children. If you would like to join me, I donate and volunteer at Redding CalVet State Home of California 3400 Knighton Rd. Redding, Ca. 96002 and One Safe Place 2250 Benton Dr. Redding, Ca. 96003. Or, you are welcome to donate to a charity of your choice. Thank You on behalf of our parents.

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