After retiring at age 89, Burr Odell became a frequent attendee at the Tuesday luncheons. We are sad to report he passed away, and below is his obituary notice as authored by him and published in the Seattle Times.
Burr ODELL 1914 – 2010 Written by Burr Odell 2008
Burr Odell died December 7, 2010. He was born August 15, 1914 in Vancouver, B.C. of American Parents, Mark and India Bell Odell. The family returned to their permanent home in Seattle. Burr attended Broadway High School. Following high school graduation in 1929, he entered the University of Washington at the age of 15 as a Engineering major for one semester. Then Burr left school for two years and went to work the blind bookseller, Harry Hartman. At Hartman Book Store Burr acquired a livelong interest in literature.
Burr re-entered the University of Washington in 1932 and graduated in 1937 with a B.A. degree and Ensign’s commission in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. His first employment after graduating college was with Dun and Bradstreet. In the summer of 1940 his Reserve Navy unit was called to active duty in the Pacific Northwest mine sweeping fleet. In early 1942 Burr transferred to Lighter-than-Air where he took his blimp pilot training at Lakehunt, N.J. He earned his wings in October 1942 and married Mary A. Cole. He was then assigned Blimp Pilot Duty at Moffet Field, California and was subsequently transferred to Tillamook, Oregon. In early 1943 he became Commanding Officer of Blimp Headquarters Squadron 33. In late 1944 Burr transferred back to Moffet Field as Operations Officer. He was discharged to inactive duty in 1946 with the rank of Commander USNR.
Shortly after returning to Seattle, Burr became a sale representative for Olympic Stain Products Company. He became National Sales Manager in 1949, in charge of expanding the sale and distribution of Olympic Products nationally. In the early 1950’s he purchased a partnership interest in Olympic from the founder, Philip R. Bailey, and continued with Olympic until 1958, when he sold his interest.
Soon afterward, Burr was hired by Boeing Company to open a sales office in Sydney, Australia. During the first two years he traveled with Boeing to Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and other Pacific countries as a sales division representative. His plans to move to Sydney were canceled in 1966 when the Boeing sales office expansion program was canceled.
Burr then entered the commercial/industrial real estate business, working as a contract negotiator for the Jack Benaroya Company. In 1970 he became a licensed real estate broker, working for several shopping center developers, continuing until his retirement at the age of 89.
Burr became an intense UW Husky Football fan after attending the first football game at the Husky Stadium in 1920 when the Huskies hosted Dartmouth. Dartmouth won 27 to 0. Over the years Burr attended 330 Husky football games, including 6 Rose Bowls. For many years Burr was an avid golfer as a member of the Seattle Golf Club. He never lost his passion for literature. Until the spring of 2010, Burr lived independently in his home of 37 years. Burr’s wife of 51 years, Mary A. Cole of Seattle passed away in 1993. He is survived by his son Mark Cole Odell and his wife Phyllis and their twin daughters Kelly and Sydney; daughter Charlotte A. Fitch and her husband Ronald; and his son Stuart Burr Odell; plus numerous nephews, nieces and their families. Burr’s love for his children was extended to their friends. At Burr’s request, no services will be held. A gathering of family is being planned.
Published in The Seattle Times on December 12, 2010