Louise M. Odell, 81, social worker and volunteer


April 04, 2006

Louise M. Odell, a retired social worker and volunteer, died of dementia Friday at the Broadmead retirement community in Cockeysville. She was 81.

She was born and raised Louise Mitchell in Yonkers, N.Y. She was a 1947 graduate of New York University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in science.

In 1948, she married Dr. Gerard B. Odell, who became a professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The couple later divorced.

After her children were grown, Mrs. Odell returned to school and earned a master's degree in social work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in 1976.

She was a social worker for 14 years at the John F. Kennedy Institute for the Rehabilitation of Children. She retired in 1990.

The longtime Roland Park resident became one of the first residents of Coldspring New Town when it opened in 1978. Since 1998, she had lived at Broadmead.

Mrs. Odell volunteered at The League: Serving People with Disabilities and Maryland Public Television. She also enjoyed traveling and had visited Africa, South and Central America, Japan, Australia, Switzerland and the Middle East.

She also liked cooking and entertaining and was an avid birdwatcher.

Plans for a memorial service to be held at Broadmead were incomplete yesterday.

Surviving are four sons, Gerard B. Odell Jr. of Naples, Fla., Timothy M. Odell of Dover, N.H., John L. Odell of Baltimore and Thomas A. Odell of Patterson, N.Y.; a brother, Harold J. Mitchell Jr. of Commack, N.Y.; a sister, Virginia Lane of Simsbury, Conn.; and eight grandchildren.

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