Ellen Turner Odegaard

Born on December 26, 1926

Departed on October 21, 2011 and resided in Gainesville, GA

Ellen Odegaard passed away peacefully at home on September 21, 2011 after suffering from Alzheimers for many years. Ellen was committed to community service in Gainesville and to making her visions a reality. Ellen was an only child, born in 1926 to Dorothy and Hamilton Turner. Her parents were from a long line of early American Scotch- Irish settlers in eastern Pennsylvania. Ellen was a born and bred Yankee, born in Niagra Falls, N.Y., and college at N.Y.'s Skidmore College. She met and married John Odegaard in Chicago, Illinois. They were married for 60 years. Ellen was devoted to John and he to her, John cared for her lovingly at home throughout her illness. Ellen was a beautiful, graceful, exuberant being. She took life on with a grin and open-hearted enthusiasm. She was comfortable with everyone whether it was folks in a backwood's bar in Oregon, or "high society." She loved people and loved to bring them together. Ellen was a loving, playful mother to her 3 children: Lisa, Carl, and Jon. She passed her adventurous spirit on to her children and encouraged them to be themselves. Ellen moved to Gainesville, Ga from Atlanta, where she was active in the arts. She founded the Arts Council in Gainesville in1977, wanting to bring more support and attention to the arts in this part of Georgia. She was it's executive director for 5 years and has been an enthusiastic part of the local arts community for many years. Ellen was the first recipient of the Gainesville Times Golden Gavel Award in 1981, honored for her work through the Arts Council. She was also the executive director of Volunteer Gainesville, and later helped found the Elachee Nature Science Center with a group of like-minded women. Ellen is survived by her husband, John; her daughter, Lisa Odegaard, son-in-law, Bob Heilbroner, and grandson, Lucas Heilbroner all of Talent, Oregon; her son, Carl of Santa Barbara, California; and her granddaughter, Elisse Linari presently in Busan, South Korea. Ellen is predeceased by her son, Jon Odegaard 2009. No service is planned. Ellen's ashes will be scattered in Oregon at a later date. For more info. call John 770-532-3797 or Lisa 541-535-8314. In lieu of flowers, donations can be given to: Special Olympics specialolympics.org.
Ellen would want to send her love and good wishes to the community of Gainesville.


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