The Obit For Boo Odem

Benjamin Odem

Published in Houston Chronicle on January 10, 2012

Benjamin Dudley Tarlton (Boo) Odem passed away at his home in Hunt, Texas on November 10, 2011.

He was survived by his brother, Harry Odem, for a week, and is survived by 32 nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Brian Sylvester Odem and Wilbert Irwin Odem, his sister, Sylvia Odem Landrum, and his brothers Brian, Bert, Jimmy, and Anthony Odem, and his nephew, Thomas Odem.

Boo was born on January 6, 1930 in Corpus Christi, Texas and raised in Houston, Texas. He attended Saint Anne Catholic School and graduated from Saint Thomas High School in 1949, where he was a cheerleader and a baseball pitcher for the Eagles.

In 1953, Boo was a left-handed pitcher playing professional baseball in Abbeville and Baton Rouge, LA. in the Evangeline League.

Boo received a B.A. in Journalism in 1955 from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Boo worked from an early age into his 70's. He began his journalism career in high school working for the Houston Chronicle covering high school football, and after college, covering Rice University football. His first personal column was called "Bowling with Boo". Later, he worked as the Sports Information Director for Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He spent the last 30 years of his career working as a Sports Reporter for the Stars and Stripes newspaper for the U.S. Military in Darmstadt, Germany.

A lifelong bachelor, Boo visited his family often from Europe, and arrived with a thunderclap and a cloud of dust, injecting the family gatherings with another level of intensity and passion. His photographic and encyclopedic memory ensured a rapid-fire storytelling extravaganza. Woe be to the butter-gloved shortstop that mishandled a hard-hit ball and ran into Boo Odem many years later, for he would be reminded of the inning, pitch count, and who was on base at the moment of his fielding indiscretion. But Boo's mission was not one of ill intent, but just a journalist's devotion to the story combined with a capacity for recall that astounded and amazed until the very end.

Boo will be remembered fondly and missed by us all. May his soul rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon him.

A Memorial Service will be held at Saint Anne Catholic Church on Saturday, February 11, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow in the St. Teresa Room at St. Anne's. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Notre Dame Catholic Church in Kerrville, Texas.