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On Sunday, February 26th, a grand reception was held in honor of Jeanette Odle. Her years of service to the church and to the community have been exemplary. Just in case you were one of the few who wasn’t able to attend, here’s a little bit of what you missed.
You may have known Jeanette for a long time…or just recently. You may have known her from school, as a student, or a teacher. You may have sat next to her in the choir, or yours may have been one of many weddings at which she sang. Jeanette may have catered a special occasion for you, or baked a spectacular cake. Maybe you first met her at one of her restaurants. We all know her for the spectacular meals she has prepared right in this church.
Jeanette was born and grew up in the mountains of Coalwood, West Virginia to parents who worked in the coal mining industry. She started school in Coalwood and graduated from Asbury College in Kentucky. She has served the Lord faithfully since giving her life to Christ at a local Methodist revival.
Her gift of music began with private piano lessons as a second grader, and was enhanced with voice lessons during her junior and senior high school years from our own Virginia Clark.
Jeannette sang in the Asbury Chorale in college, directed the choir, and was organist at a Baptist Church while teaching in Ohio. She was the featured soloist in the 1971 presentation of Handel’s Messiah, and one summer did a workshop with Norman Luboff. She has sung with noted musicians; namely Jester Hairston, Roger Wagner, and Lara Hoggard. All her life, Jeanette has faithfully used her talent to honor the Lord.
Jeanette’s teaching career started in Fairborn, Ohio and continued there until 1964 when she moved to Lake Wales. After 30 years of teaching, she retired from Frostproof Junior Senior High School where she taught chorus, English and Spanish.
Her next venture was catering locally, which successfully progressed into opening her own restaurants, and finally to the supervising of the kitchen here at the First Presbyterian Church.
In her spare time, Jeannette managed to teach Sunday School, sing in the church choir, fill in between choir directors, direct the hand bell choir and most recently, play her clarinet in the Instrumental Ensemble.
– Jim and Kay Weaver