Kaery O’Dell, Jr., 71

Kaery C. O’Dell, Jr. age 71 of Sturgis, Michigan passed away Sunday, October 29, 2017 at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. He was born September 3, 1946 in Franklin County, Mississippi son of the late Kaery C. and Annie Mae (Mason) O’Dell. Kaery was raised by his father and Christine O’Dell after the untimely death of his mother.

Kaery was proud to have served his country in the U.S. Air Force earning the rank of Airman First Class. On August 30, 1964 he married Elizabeth Ann Brown in Gary, Indiana. Kaery resided in Sturgis since 1983 coming from Muncie, Indiana. Kaery retired from American Natural Resources Pipeline in LaGrange, Indiana following many years of dedicated employment.

He was a member of the Holy Angels Catholic Church in Sturgis, the Carver Center in Three Rivers and was a strong supporter of the NAACP. Many will remember Kaery for his never ending involvement and dedication to coaching over 25 years with the Sturgis Rocket Football program. He enjoyed volunteering his time with the Keystone Place, reading, mowing his grass and of course watching football whenever possible. Kaery was active in his community and had many hobbies but what he truly cherished was time spent with his family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 53 years: Elizabeth; two daughters: Elizabeth Ann (Cris) Ball of Dayton, Ohio and Heather (Orlando) Taylor of Kalamazoo; one son: Will (Gari) Smith of Portage; 12 grandchildren: Danielle, Blake, Courtland, Chloe, Montrell, Keoshi, Orlando, Jr., Olivia, Markus, Travis, Jayden and Iyanna; five great grandchildren: Chance, Pierce, Jolene, Courtland, Jr., and Tre Vante; one sister: Louise (Irving) Mooyoung of Chicago, Illinois and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Kaery and Annie Mae O’Dell and Christine O’Dell who raised him due to his mother’s death; and son: Keith H. O’Dell; one daughter: Kaery (O’Dell) Rivera; one great grandson: Nolan Hoffmann and one sister: Linda O’Dell.

The family will receive friends from 5:00-8:00 P.M. Friday at the Hackman Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091, 269-651-2331. A celebration of Kaery’s life will begin at 11:30 A.M. Saturday at the funeral home officiated by the Rev. Terry Cropper of the Bethel Baptist Church in Three Rivers. Full military honors will be conferred by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard and Captain John J. Kelley Post #1355 VFW. Private burial will take place at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis.

The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Kaery’s memory consider the Sturgis Rocket Football Program, P.O. Box 843, Sturgis, MI 49091 or the Keystone Place, 505 E. Market St., Centreville, MI 49032.

The obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhomes.com where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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