Carol L. Odeen

Carol  L. Odeen

Carol Odeen, 78, of Viroqua, Wisconsin, died peacefully at home on January 24, 2013.

She was born on November 15, 1934 in Plainfield, Wisconsin, to Harvey and Hattie (Rambo) Polzin, and was the second youngest of 6 children. After graduating from Tri-County High School, she attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she majored in Home Economics. Carol was involved in the Wesley Foundation, where she met the love of her life, Bruce Odeen. They married on December 17, 1955, and recently celebrated their 57th anniversary.

Carol found many ways to be involved in her community. After graduating from UW-Madison, she spent two years as the Assistant Home Agent in Green County, Wisconsin, where she worked with 4-H clubs. In 1958, Carol and Bruce moved to the Odeen family farm outside of Black River Falls. Carol was involved with the Jackson County Homemakers and taught Home Economics at Black River Falls High School. She also continued her involvement with 4-H and served as a club leader for 26 years.

When Bruce became a Vice President of Tri-State Breeders (now Accelerated Genetics) in 1980, Carol moved with him to the Viroqua area. She worked for the Westby School District, where she served as the Food Service Manager and spent many years as a substitute teacher.

Carol taught community sewing and quilting classes for 24 years. She was a particularly gifted quilter and was generous with her time and talents. She was also a talented musician. Carol served as the church organist at Trout Run United Methodist while on the farm, and after moving to Viroqua was a member of the Viroqua Community Handbell Choir for 26 years, and directed the Wesley United Methodist Church Handbell Choir in LaCrosse for 15 years. She also passed along her love of music to her children and grandchildren.

Carol was a natural teacher, and her life was notable for her quiet, steady leadership. She never sought praise or attention, but instead focused on nurturing her family and making the world a friendlier place. She was particularly patient with those who might need a little extra help.

Carol is survived by her husband, Bruce Odeen, and their 4 children, Diane Odeen (Michael Kahlow) of River Falls, Tom (Donna) Odeen of Loyal, Keith (Chris) Odeen of Black River Falls, and Dan (Brenda) Odeen of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, as well as 8 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She is also survived by brothers Eugene (Bonnie) Polzin, Doug (Anita) Polzin, sister Ruth Stream, and many nieces and nephews.

Carol lived her last 2 ½ years with pancreatic cancer, and her family wishes to acknowledge the excellent care given by the entire oncology staff at Gundersen Lutheran in LaCrosse, particularly Dr. Bodvarsson.

The family requests that any memorial in her honor be given to the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation or the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the Viroqua United Methodist Church. Reverend Ethan Larson and Reverend Don Iliff will officiate. Friends may call at the Vosseteig Funeral Home, 708 S. Main, in Westby, on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Friends may also call on Saturday at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.

The Vosseteig Funeral Homes of Westby and Viroqua are serving the family.