James Dailen “Dale” O’Dell


Feb. 26, 2020 — James Dailen “Dale”  O’Dell was born Oct. 1, 1936, in St Louis, Mo., to Constance and  Benjamin O’Dell.

Dale passed away peacefully in Eugene, Ore., on Feb. 11, 2020, at the age of 83. 

His wife Mary (Kitty) O’Dell was by his side.

He was preceded in death by both of his parents; a younger brother, Gerald O’Dell; a son, Christopher O’Dell; daughter, Kim Zeigler Bales; two stepsons: Greg and Jeffrey Culbertson; and one grandchild, Jake Kaluna.

Dale grew up in the Brooklyn neighborhood of SE Portland. After high school graduation, he went to work for the SP&S Railroad, starting in the mailroom but soon moved up into executive positions in the finance and real estate departments.

SP&S was part of a merger which became the Burlington Northern Railroad and as his boss said at his retirement in 1992, “Dale just couldn’t hold a job. He held 36 titles in 38 years!” 

Dale married Patricia Ann Rambeau in September 1962 and their blended family of one son and two daughters added a fourth child in 1963 to round out to even numbers of boys and girls. 

The family moved to the Aloha, Ore., area in 1967 and stayed there until most of the kids were grown and gone.

In 1977, Dale was transferred to Seattle. But at retirement, he and Pat decided to spend their last years on the Oregon coast. 

They built a house overlooking the ocean in Florence, traveled with friends and spent time enjoying their grandkids until Patricia passed from cancer in 1996.

In September 1998, Dale married Mary (Kitty) Tierney and they settled into a life of “snowbirding” — Florence in the summer and (surprise) Arizona in the winter months.

Dale was an avid sports car and motorcycle fan, belonging to the Retreads Motorcycle Club in Florence and the Happy Trails Motorcycle Club in Arizona.

When not traveling, entertaining family and friends or riding the dunes, Dale liked to sit back with a cold drink and a good book. He was an honest, caring and thoughtful man who loved his family and wanted nothing more than for everyone to invest in a 401K. 

When Dale married Kitty, he added two stepsons and two stepdaughters to the blended family, along with six additional grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Six great-great-grandsons soon followed.

Dale is survived by his wife Kitty; son Steven; step daughters Jodi of Tualatin, Kimberly of Portland and Libby of Lowell; 10 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandsons. 

He will be missed.

Donations in lieu of flowers would be greatly appreciated by the American Cancer Society.   

A service will be held Saturday, Feb. 29, at St. Mary’s Our Lady of the Dunes Catholic Church, beginning at 11 a.m.

Burns’s Riverside Chapel Florence Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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