Wade Hugh Odom, 92, passed away Monday, April 20, 2020 at Washington County Hospital in Chatom, Alabama. Wade worked in his family's timber products business from a young age including sawmilling and turpentine operations. He attended Springhill College on a full baseball scholarship as the team's starting pitcher until he was inducted into the U.S. Army. He finished boot camp at Warner Robbins, Georgia before being sequestered back home by the U. S. Army and senator Boykin to manage his father's timber business in order to maintain wartime timber product quotas required by the federal government. Afterwards he became employed as a civil servant as an aircraft machinist at Brookley Air force Base in Mobile, Alabama. He was transferred for a time in the late 1950's to Tinker Field Air Force Base in Oklahoma to train a team there to make and repair aircraft control surfaces. After returning to Brookley Field, which was experiencing a cost-cutting military base closure, he was transferred to the Army Missile command at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. There he worked with the military engineering team and NASA developing missile propulsion and guidance systems. His team also collaborated with the head of NASA, Dr. Wehner Von Braun, on rocket propulsion and guidance issues as well as assisting Dr. Von Braun in setting up the Marshall Spaceflight Museum in Huntsville, Alabama. When yet another reduction-in-force cost-saving initiative came about, Wade decided to honor Ruby, his beloved wife's desire, to return home to south Alabama rather than take advantage of several job offers to move to the Washington, DC area to work in the Pentagon. Back home in south Alabama Wade was active in managing his small landowner timber and cattle business as well as delving into real estate development in south Baldwin County and Florida before finally retiring to his home in Deer Park, Alabama. He was devoted to his children, grandchildren and his wife, Ruby Naomi Earle who preceded him in death on August 15, 2018. He is survived by his sons, Wade Hugh Odom, Jr., Richard S. Odom, and Vincent Tod Odom; Daughter, Sondra Odom Dueitt; grandsons, Clinton Reed Odom and Matthew Ridge Odom; granddaughters, Kimberly Gayle Dean, Cary Laine Thomas, Audra Bailes Fryer, Kristen Odom Lolley and Shelby Erin Dueitt; great grandsons, Cameron Roberts, Danny Travis Dean and Samson James Fryer; great granddaughters, Molly Gayle Dean, Monroe Ellie Thomas, and Arlo Cheyenne Thomas. A private graveside service will be held Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at Deer Park Cemetery. His family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be mailed to the Deer Park Cemetery Fund—5573 County Rd 1, Chatom, AL 36518. Online register available at www.freemancitronelle.com. Freeman Funeral Home - Citronelle.
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