Joseph Mitchell Odenwald

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, December 3, 2019

June 17, 1927 – Dec. 1, 2019

FERRIDAY— A “Celebration of Life” service for Joseph Mitchell Odenwald, 92, who died Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, at First Baptist Church in Ferriday with the Rev. Dr. Learned Odenwald officiating.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until service time Saturday at the church.
Joseph Mitchell Odenwald was born June 17, 1927, in Heathmann, the son of Joseph Odenwald and Mable Cotner Odenwald.
Joe served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and later attended Delta State University. He married the former Edna River in 1951. The couple and their two sons moved to Ferriday in 1968, where he joined the Panola Land Development Company as assistant manager. From 1977 to 2007, Joe was self-employed as a farmer, first under the LLC “Lazy 8 Cattle Company” and later “Joe’s Pecans and Custom Work.”
Mr. Odenwald or “Big Big,” as he was known to many, was a 50-year member of First Baptist Church in Ferriday, where he taught a Sunday school class from 1976 until just before his death. From the 1980s through the early 2000s, Joe engaged in volunteer prison ministry, teaching a Bible class of Sunday nights at the local jail.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, the Rev. Robert Owen Odenwald.
Survivors include his wife of more than 68 years, Edna Rivers Odenwald; two sons, Joseph Mitchell Odenwald Jr. and wife, Cindy, and Jay Hunter Odenwald; three grandsons, Dr. Joseph Learned Odenwald Jr. and wife, Laura, Joseph Mitchell Odenwald III and Joshua Odenwald; one great-grandson, Joseph Franklin Odenwald; one brother, Dr. Neil Graham Odenwald and wife, Rebekah; and one sister, Ruth Clair Odenwald Adair.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be directed to The Southwestern Michigan College Foundation, 58900 Cherry Grove Road, Dowagiac, MI 49047.

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