Jimmy Richard Oden, 59, of Van Buren passed away Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, at a local hospital. He was elected union president at Rheem in 1982 where he served in that capacity until 1999 when he advanced to serve as international staff representative for the United Steel Workers. During this time he also served as sub-district director for Arkansas and Oklahoma. He had served 22 years with the 188th Air National Guard in Fort Smith where he received his Purple Heart in 1988 from a bombing in Honduras.
Jimmy was a very loving and caring husband, father and grandfather; he was one of the Razorback’s biggest fans. He served as president of the Lake Tenkiller Harbor Association where he and his wife, Sherry loved spending time with family and many friends. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating. He will be truly missed by all who knew him. He is preceded in death by his father, Floyd R. Oden; a brother, Gary Oden; and a grandson, Bentley Oden.
He is survived by his wife, Sherry L. Oden of the home; two daughters, Mindy Graham of Vian and Brittany Hunter of Mulberry; four sons, Breck Oden of Van Buren, Brannon Oden of Cedarville, Brent Oden of Mobile, Ala., and Kevin Wilmot of Fort Smith; his mother, and stepfather, Alivern and Glen McDonald of Van Buren; one brother, Randy Oden of Van Buren; and 16 grandchildren.
Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Ocker Memorial Chapel in Van Buren with burial at Gracelawn Cemetery in Van Buren with burial at Ocker Funeral Home in Van Buren.
Pallbearers will be Breck Oden, Kevin Wilmot, Brannon Oden, Justin Graham, Kendall Hunter, Brent Oden, Ashton Oden and Mikayla Oden.
Honorary pallbearers will be United Steel Workers and Rodney Oden.
The family will visit with relatives and friends 2-4 p.m. Sunday at Ocker Funeral Home, 700 Jefferson St., Van Buren.
Online tributes: www.ockerfuneralhome.com.