Tuesday, November 03, 2015

TOP STORY >> Odom, JP and farmer, dies at 71

Leader staff writer

Larry Odom, 71, who had served as a justice of the peace in Lonoke County for more than 20 years, passed away Tuesday after a several months’ fight against a cancerous brain tumor.

A visitation and funeral will be held Saturday at Mount Carmel Baptist Church. The visitation will be from noon-2 p.m.

The funeral will follow at 2 p.m.

The family has asked that the remaining 12 members of the quorum court serve as honorary pallbearers.

Larry’s wife of 29 years, Sandy Odom, said he grew up in Cabot and loved his community.

“He was a loving and generous man,” she continued.

Odom was also a well-known farmer. He ran the family-owned Holland Bottom Farm on Hwy. 321.

Sandy Odom said her husband was passionate about both farming, which was in his heart and soul, and his work in the political sphere.

“He enjoyed serving the people. He enjoyed talking and visiting all his customers,” she said, adding that Larry knew all their names and faces. “He felt like he was living the American dream out here.”

Sandy Odom also said Larry was a math teacher and enjoyed quizzing kids to see if they were studying hard enough.

The widow also, lovingly, called him a “workaholic.” She said he was very intelligent, always knew what he was talking about and tried to be a mentor who steered people right.

Sandy Odom and Lonoke County Judge Doug Erwin said Larry would be greatly missed.

“The thing about Larry was he was a very strong-willed person who stood up for what he thought was right,” he continued.

Erwin added that Larry had contributed a lot of input throughout his years on the quorum court and brought a lot of knowledge to it.

JP Bill Ryker agreed, adding that Larry “was a numbers man” who spoke his mind and had been involved in every committee and chaired several, including the building committee when it undertook the construction of the new detention facility.

Ryker also said Larry meant a lot to both the county and the Cabot community.

Maggie Valley Berry Patch and Gardens posted on its Facebook page, “Larry was a premier strawberry grower in Arkansas. He was a wonderful mentor who shared his knowledgeable expertise with us. It was a thrill to have him visit us in the spring of this year.”

Larry was also featured on the P. Allen Smith show in 2012.

Another friend posted on Facebook, “He was a good man...He was so kind. He has blessed me with a lifetime of memories and lessons of life.”

Someone else thanked him, posthumously, for helping feed the county’s shut-ins and homeless by providing produce.