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James Edward Odom Jr.

07/12/1942 - 04/14/2023

James Edward Odom Jr. (aka Jim, Jimmy, Coach Odom) passed away peacefully on April 14th, 2023 in Mesa, Arizona. He was born to the late James Edward Odom Sr. and Pearlie Jones on July 12th, 1942 in El Dorado, Arkansas. His family relocated to Los Angeles, California when he was around the age of 2. He accepted Christ at the young age of 5 and lived his whole life as a devout Christian.

He was a graduate of John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles at the age of 17 where he then served 4 years active duty in the United States Navy as an airplane electrician. He was honorably discharged as a Petty officer second class.

In 1963, he started his career as a customer engineer at IBM and then worked his way up to Senior Associate Programmer, where he retired after 30 years.

His passions included listening to music, flying small aircraft, coaching track and field, studying the bible and theology, reading and writing, and doing pranks on his friends and family members (which were often reciprocated). He often indulged in ice cream, root beer, Jack in the Box, strawberry milkshakes, and Snickers. He enjoyed baking his grandmother’s pound cake.

He played the flute and was also a DJ at a local radio station from time to time. He was often found listening to Jazz, R&B, and most recently, Hawaiian Island music.

He coached several hurdlers who became elite and world class athletes. He was an amazing coach and sought out by many schools all throughout California and Oregon.

James is survived by his sister (Judy Williams), his son (Jimmy Odom), his daughter (Jennifer Odom), and 3 grandchildren (Jevin Odom, Javanna Odom, and Justus Odom); along with many nieces and nephews. He is preceded by his mother, father, 2 sisters, and grandparents.

His final wish was to be cremated and scattered across the Pacific Ocean.


  • My Uncle Jimmy was a wonderful man I was so proud to be his niece when I talked to him I always felt a joy in my heart. Absent from the body present with the Lord going to miss you Uncle your niece Candice Teate

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