James Richard O'Dell, 86 - Spencer

James Richard O'Dell of Spencer, West Virginia, passed away May 6, 2015 at the age of 86 after a long illness.

He was born in Spencer, West Virginia to Lonzo David and Izy Ethel Morehead O'Dell. He was employed by the F.F. McIntosh Farm, Monarch Rubber Company, and the Roane County Board of Education where he was a school bus driver. He was also a farmer, and worked on the farm until the last few months of his life.

He was an excellent teamster, and farmed with horses nearly all his life. He raised Belgian draft horses for many years, and even when he owned a tractor, continued to use horses and mules on a regular basis. He loved attending the horse sales in the Amish communities of Ohio, where he made many friends.

With his wife Mary, he traveled often to the traditional music festivals throughout West Virginia and beyond. He was especially fond of dance tunes played on fiddle and banjo, and he had many friends in the old-time music and dance community.

He was a flatfoot dancer, square dancer, and square dance caller, and called many sets at the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville.

In addition to the Folk Festival, he regularly attended the music and dance events at the Vandalia Gathering and the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee, among others.

He is survived by a son, James David O'Dell, his wife Connie and their son Nathan Stout of Glenville, as well as several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Mary Lou Craig O'Dell, and his sisters, Dorothy Davis of Alameda, California, and Dessie Lawson of Goochland, Virginia.

Friends may visit at the Taylor-Vandale Funeral Home in Spencer from 6-8 pm on Saturday, May 9. The funeral will be Sunday, May 10 at 2 pm with burial following at the O'Dell Family Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and the Roane County Animal Shelter.