Lesley Eugene Oden, 87, of Joppa died Saturday, March 25, 2023, at St. Vincents’s Hospital in Birmingham.
Mr. Oden was born Nov. 8, 1935, to Orvile L. Oden and Myrle R. Welch Oden. He married the former Carolyn Denton in 1957. He later married Arlene Oden in November 2002.
He earned a degree in business and finance at Jacksonville State University, was a veteran of the United States Army, in which he reached the rank of Major. He served from September 1957 through November 1972 and spent time in Ethopia, Vietnam and Tehran, Iran.
After his Army discharge, he continued to work for the federal government and eventually retired with 48 years of service. He took great pride in being able to serve his country through both military and civilian service.
He loved life and lived it to its fullest. He grew up on a farm, and as most farmers have to do, he learned how to work and repair most things. He spent many hours repairing and tinkering on vehicles. He loved growing things and spent many hours gardening.
Alabama football was a passion. Not many could compete when it came to cheering on his favorite team.
He could also be considered a grill master. He took great pleasure and had tremendous pride in his accomplishments of cooking for his family.
He was extremely proud of his family; he loved them deeply and supported them in every way. He was of the Baptist faith and was a member of New Salem Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife: Arlene Oden; sons: Lesley Howard “Buddy” Oden, Patrick A. Oden and Billie Dale Oden; grandchildren: Mary Howell (Jimmy), James Oden (Courtney), Blake Oden, Taylor K. Oden and Denton Oden; brothers: Garey Oden and Jerry Oden.
Mr. Oden is preceded in death by brothers: David C. Oden, Billie H. Oden, and infant brother Johnathan Oden; and infant grandson: Christopher Oden.
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