Robert A. Oden (age 96) died in the company of his loving children, Jane Stull and Robert A. Oden Jr., on Sept. 6, 2013, in Peoria, AZ. He will be remembered and honored for his insatiable, indomitable intellectual curiosity, his extraordinary community service to the city of Vermillion and the state of South Dakota, his unswerving conviction that education is the great American dream, and his lifelong dedication to integrity in all matters, including especially business activities.
Born on Aug. 14, 1917, in Alcester, to Norwegian natives, Thorvald and Bergliot Oden, Bob graduated from Vermillion High School and then from the University of South Dakota with a degree in Chemistry – the first in his family to attend college. In May of 1942, he married fellow USD graduate Margaret Ardelle Armstrong of Canistota, who died on May 11, 1966. He later married Marcella Lovre of Brookings, who was his devoted companion for many years and who died earlier this summer. Among Bob’s great and abiding sadnesses during his final year of life was the death of his youngest child, Paul William Oden, in March of 2012.
Bob is survived by his daughter, Jane Oden Stull (Walt) of Bloomington, MN; and his son, Robert A. Oden, Jr. (Teresa) of Hanover, NH; his daughter-in-law, Carolyn Colvin (Paul) of Bainbridge Island, WA; three step-children, Jo Ann Winkler (Fred) of St. Augustine, FL, Mark Lovre (Janet) of Sioux Falls, and John Lovre of Brookings; and 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
For 58 years Bob Oden’s career was devoted to serving local farmers as an International Harvester Implement dealer and owner. His roles as a committed civic leader surpass ready counting and include chairing the Vermillion School Board and other area boards for decades, serving as president of the USD Alumni Association, and representing Clay County as a state representative from 1953-1957.
Bob’s and his family’s many friends are invited to join his children and grandchildren, who will assemble in Vermillion from across the country, in celebrating Bob’s life on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Vermillion, at 11 a.m. with reception to follow.
Gifts in memory of Robert A. Oden may be made to the USD Foundation or to the American Lutheran Church of Sun City, AZ.
Kober Funeral Home, Vermillion, is in charge of local arrangements.
Condolences may be posted online to www.koberfuneralhome.com.