In Memory of




Obituary for Rex E. O'Dell

Rex E. O’Dell,
Saginaw Twp., Michigan

Our beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away Saturday, January 21, 2023 at Covenant Medical Center Cooper. Son of the late Melvin and Elizabeth (Sherlock) O’Dell, Rex was born May 15, 1924 in Bridgeport, Michigan. He was a 1942 graduate of Arthur Hill High School. He served in the Army Air Corp during WWII. Rex married Marjorie (Peggy) Swarthout on June 28, 1947. She predeceased him December 17, 1991. Rex earned a Bachelor’s Degree from CMU and a Master’s Degree in Economics from San Jose State, and began his career in teaching in 1956 retiring in 1986.

Rex’s love of flying began with flight training at Saginaw Municipal Airport in 1940, earning his pilot’s license at the age of 18. He retained his interest in aviation throughout his life which included restoring, designing and building aircraft. He also took pride in the designing and construction of his homes, workshop and aircraft hangar. Rex was an avid reader in the fields of economics, history and political science. As a self-taught musician, he was a member of several small dance bands during the 60’s and 70’s. As a lover of nature, Rex made certain his many bird feeders and bird bath were always filled and available year round, while making generous donations to many wildlife, conservation and animal rescue organizations.

Surviving to cherish his memory are his children, Rex M. “Matt”, Jacqueline and Kathleen; his grandchildren Craig, Elizabeth, Zachary, Brian, Corey and Jillianne; his great-grandchildren Sofia, Christopher, Shelby, Olivia, Carson and Raleigh; and his best friend and loving companion, Lois Peterson. Rex was predeceased by a grandson Rex M. “Bucky” O’Dell Jr. in 1981; and his two sisters and nine brothers.

Honoring Rex’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A private memorial service will take place at a later date. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to the Saginaw Humane Society or Michigan Audubon. Please share condolences and memories with the family at