JOE DAN ODEN
Joe Dan Oden, 65, of Albany, Texas died on March 14, 2020 in Weatherford, Texas.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, services are pending indefinitely. A memorial service and celebration of life party will be held at the soonest possible time, with an announcement of those services being run in this paper at that time.
Joe Dan was born in Sweetwater, Texas on May 11, 1954, the youngest and, arguably, the most spoiled of five children, to TJ and Winnie (Rose) Oden of Blackwell, Texas. He graduated from Blackwell High School in May 1972 and entered the US Army shortly after, serving during the Vietnam era at Ft. Hood, Texas and South Korea.
Joe Dan married his high school sweetheart, Jan McNeill, on June 6 or 7 of 1974 – he argued about the date until he died.
After determining that cowboying would not support a family, he followed his brother-in-law and best friend, Zane McNeill, to Albany, Texas, where he eventually settled and raised his family.
In 2004, following Sarah’s (daughter) first Army deployment to Iraq, Joe Dan called Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR) and asked them to send him to “the War Zone” so he could he “help his daughter fight the war.” He worked as a contractor on Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2006.
During this time, he was able to take international trips with his wife, Jan, where they visited Italy, Ireland, England, and Scotland. This was a special time in Joe Dan’s life.
Due to a rare, incurable lung disease, Joe Dan retired from EBAA Iron in 2015. He said it was the best place that he ever worked, and he still went out there and visited regularly.
Joe Dan liked Guinness on tap, Bob Will’s music, dancing with Jan, listening to Melissa (daughter) sing, visiting with his brothers and sisters, tinkering and fixing stuff, watching James (son) play football, kissing babies, and, most of all, spoiling Dawson (youngest son). He wasn’t afraid to show his tender side or tell someone he cared. He worked hard and he cared deeply.
Joe Dan is survived by his wife Jan McNeill Oden; five children, Sarah Oden Fite and husband Matthew of Weatherford, Texas, Melissa Oden Williams and husband Robert of Wichita Falls, Texas, Thomas Oden of Abilene, Texas, James Oden and wife Cindy of Hamlin, Texas, and Dawson Oden of Albany, Texas; four siblings, all of Blackwell, Texas: Terry Oden and wife Marilyn, Larry Oden, Lana Oden Goodman, and Kathy Oden Jackson; four sisters-in-law, Jill McNeill McClellan and husband Les of Midland, Texas, Sissy Presley of Albany, Texas, Sharon McWhirter of Wingate, Texas, Mary Beth Harris of Lubbock, Texas and Cheryl Grenwelge-Baur of College Station, Texas; 15 grandchildren and one new great-grandchild; 21 nieces and nephews, 27 great nieces and nephews, three great-great nieces and nephews; many loved cousins; his best friends of over 40 years, Mike Warren of Stoney Creek, Tennessee and Richard Wilson of Albany, Texas; and his good friend and “personal assistant,” Priscilla Colling-wood of Albany, Texas.
Joe Dan was preceded in death by his son, Alan Jay Oden; parents, TJ and Winnie Rose Oden; parents-in-law, Jon and LaVoy McNeill; brothers-in-law, Dickie Jon McNeill, Zane McNeill, Bill Jackson, Kent McNeill, and Flent McNeill; sister-in-law, Charlotte Morrison McNeill; and many, many friends and family members that he missed and hurt for every single day.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alan Oden scholarship fund at Friendship Baptist Church in Albany, Texas; St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital; any Child Advocacy Center in Texas; or any charity benefitting children. PD