Joseph R. Odell
MIDDLETOWN - Joseph “Joe” Rodgers Odell, Jr.,

87, of Middletown, RI, passed away on Wednesday, January 26, 2011.
He was the youngest of five children born to Sallie Bell Cooper and Joseph Rodgers O’Dell.
He was preceded in death by his siblings and his first wife of 20 years, Ellen O’Dell, their son Joseph R. O’Dell III, his second wife of 20 years Nancy Odell and by his long time companion Mary Lou Cardoza.
Joe was a very proud veteran of the US Navy and survivor of WWII. He entered the service in June 1944 and retired July 1981. During WWII he was a 20mm gunner aboard the USS Audubon. He also served aboard the destroyers Wilkinson, Newman K. Perry and heavy cruiser Des Moines. He was chief hull technician and specialized in welding, repair and damage control. He traveled a great deal during his years in the Navy. During the Korean War he traveled to the South Pacific, and his unit was important in getting the 15th Army out of Bataan, Philippines. He served on the Atka, AGB3 for 44 months during Pearl Harbor and traveled to both ends of the world, surviving the coldest temperature ever recorded in the South Pole at minus 160 degrees in 1960. He was stationed in Newport from 1964-1981. During the last 4 years of his service he was an instructor aboard the training ship Buttercup teaching damage control. He had many awards bestowed upon him including National Defense Service Medal with star, Navy Unit Commendation, American Area Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Area Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Antarctica Service Medal and China Service Medal. He owned Joe’s Doghouse for a number of years before deciding to completely retire. He enjoyed his family, gardening, listening to country music, TV shows, playing the slots at Newport Grand and dining at his beloved Bishop’s Fourth Street Diner. He was an avid Patriots and NASCAR fan.
He is survived by his children, Sheila Knox and her husband Michael of Hanover, VA, Sandra Ouellette and her husband Eric and James S. O’Dell and his wife Maggie of Tiverton, RI and Deborah Martell and her husband Gordon of Sebec, ME, five grandchildren, Suzy Mahfouz, Michael Knox, Jr. of Richmond, VA, Alyssa Martell, Jonathan Martell and Jacqueline Martell all of ME and Alison Ouellette and Justin Ouellette of Tiverton, RI and by Darlene Cardoza Dougherty and her husband Paul of Middletown, RI.
Calling hours will be held on Saturday, January 29 2010, from 2-5 p.m. in the Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, RI, with a service to follow at 5 p.m.
Burial will be private.
Donations, in his memory, may be made to Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301, attn. Gift Processing.
Condolences, information and directions are available at www.memorialfuneralhome.com

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