Ben K. O’Dell


June 19, 1929 - Sept. 15, 2012



Ben K. O’Dell went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. He was born June 19, 1929, to the late Gertrude (nee Ryan) and Ben O’Dell in Greeley, Iowa, on the family farm where he was raised with a very strong work ethic.


A graduate of Cornell College of Mount Vernon, Iowa, he was a member of the college’s 1947 NCAA championship wrestling team, which was inducted into the state and national halls of fame. He was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps who served during the Korean conflict.


He was the beloved husband of 61 years to Betty (nee Sweany); loving father of Michael (Kathryn) O’Dell, Patty (Steve) Dankert, David (Carol) O’Dell and Rob (Jeannine) O’Dell; devoted grandfather of Sean, Casey and William, Ryan and Becky, Brian, Beth, Tim and Benjamin, Dan and Calvin; and proud great-grandfather of 10. Several nieces and nephews also survive.


He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters.


A former resident of Waukesha and Wheaton, Ill., Ben was a retired business owner and salesman extroardinaire. He truly was a people person who was passionate about life, his family and accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior in 1970.


All friends and relatives are invited to Minooka Bible Church, 412 N. Wabena St., Minooka, Ill., on Friday, Sept. 21, where a memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Inurnment to follow at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood, Ill.


In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name to Child Evangelism Fellowship would be appreciated.


Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black at Essington Roads, Joliet, Ill.


For information, call (815) 741-5500 or visit online at