Thelbert Odum, the son of the late Joseph C. and Beulah Leah McCain Odum, was born in Hornersville on Nov. 11, 1922, and died at the Sikeston Convalescent Center in Sikeston on Nov. 9, 2002, at the age of 79. Mr. Odum had lived in Essex most of his life. He was a retired road grader operator with the Essex Special Road District. He was a member of the Church of Christ in Essex. He was first married to Thelma Marie Johnson, and she preceded him in death in 1974. On March 10, 1975, he was married to Oleta Allgood in Dexter. Surviving are his wife, Oleta Odum of Dexter; one son, Loyd Odum of Essex; three daughters, Shirley Slaten and JoAnn James, both of Sikeston, and Jeanette Bonee' of Blytheville; seven grandchildren, Michael Cobb of Bloomfield, Scott Cobb of Kalispell, Mont., Todd Slaten, Billy James and Amy King, all of Sikeston, Dana and Cortney Odum, both of Essex; four great-grandchildren, Cameron King, Bayleah and Jordan James, all of Sikeston, and Jerry Craft of Essex; and one brother, Odell Odum of Sikeston. He was preceded in death by one brother, J.R. Odum. Visitation was held from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, 2002, at the Watkins & Sons Funeral Home in Dexter. Funeral services were held at 1:00 p.m. today, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2002, in the Watkins & Sons Chapel in Dexter with Bro. Herman Morse of Dexter and Bro. Mitchell Jackson of Sikeston officiating. Interment followed in the Essex Cemetery in Essex with Watkins & Sons Funeral Service of Dexter in charge of arrangements.