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Martha Lane Odom


With a peaceful countenance and calm assurance in her soul, Martha Lane (Kiser)Odom passed from this life to her eternal home on September 1, 2020.

Martha Lane is survived by her husband, Dr. Jerry W. Odom; her daughter Dawn Odom Lafferty (Steve); her son Wayne Odom, Jr. (Darlene); and her grandchildren Trey Odom, Daniel Odom, Christiana Lafferty, and Ivy Odom; her sister Sherry Kiser Everett (Jimmy), her brother Dr. Jeff Kiser (Christie), five nephews and one niece, as well at their children.

Martha Lane was a lovingmother to her children and “Mummum” tofour grandchildren. Shefollowed theirvarious activities and responsibilities with great enthusiasm and excitement. She created a “Cousins’ Club,’ that included regular trips together, despite living in different states. Combining arts, crafts, hikes and museums, Jerry and Martha Lane took their grandchildren on tripsand planned adventures capture the imagination of their offspring. Always a visionary and dreamer, Marth Lane’s underlying purpose for “Cousins Club” was enabling her grandchildren to sense the warmth of “togetherness” and to forge lasting bonds which would extend far beyond her own lifetime.

Recently, she and her husband, Dr. Jerry Odom, celebrated their 82nd birthdays and their 62nd wedding anniversary. Jerry and Martha Lane met in their freshman year at Wake Forest University and married the following year in her home church in Emporia, Virginia. Dr. Odom credits his wife’s unwavering support for his success as he pursed advanced degrees, including a doctorate, and a lifelong career as a college administrator.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in English from Wake Forrest and her master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, she taught school in both North Carolina and Florida.  As the wife of a college basketball coach and administrator, she enthusiastically engaged in the activitiesof the student-athletes her husband coached. Throughout her life, she enjoyed taking dance classes, and enjoyed dancing in Walt Disney World’s grand opening celebrations.

Martha Lane had a heart of service and love, which she shared with all she knew. The daughter of a small-town physician, Martha Lane learned to be sensitive to the needs of those around her, and found creative ways to express care and encouragement to those facing difficulties. The core of her life was her faith in God and a love of the Bible, and she had a goal to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible. She was a champion for global missions and, from time to time, directed the Women’s Missionary Unions at the churches she attended. She and Jerry worked with college students at North Park Baptist (Orlando) and later assisted on mission and choir trips with the youth First Baptist Church Indian Rocks once the family moved to Pinellas County in 1979.

Martha Lane’s effervescent energy eventually led her to start her own marketing business. She focused most of her time on building strong, lasting relationships, encouraging people to set goals and formulate a plan of action, and teaching how to live each day with purpose.

There will be a celebration service to commemorate Martha Lane Odom’s life on Saturday, September 19, at 11 a.m., at First Baptist Indian Rocks(Largo, Florida) in the main worship center.

Donation ideas in lieu of flowers to honor Martha Lane

In lieu of flowers,  any people wishing to honor of Martha Lane through flowers or donation are invited to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to one ofthese two organizations

Teach Every Nation (Missions training pastors in Global south) – Teach Every Nation, Inc., 300 Townpark Dr, Suite 190, Bldg 1, Kennesaw, GA; 30144; www.teacheverynation.org.

Sure Connexions, an-all-volunteer non-profit marketplaceoutreach founded by Wayne (son) which shares the Gospel during the workweek: Sure Connexions Inc., P.O. Box 2771, Kennesaw, GA 30156; www.sureconnexions.net .

Both organizations are IRS qualified 501(c) non-profits and all gifts are tax-deductible.

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  • Wayne says:

    Hi, this is Wayne Odom – I am sending a test email

  • Bill Ritchie, III says:

    Jerry, years ago, you were a great example for me as to what an “advocate” looks like. First John 2:1 states “…we have an Advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One…” Your support and encouragement in my early career helped me gain a clearer picture of what an “Advocate” looks like. I am praying for you and your family that our Advocate in Heaven is comforting you during this time. I am thankful for you and your family.

  • Pat Reagan says:

    Jerry

    Jerry, Wayne,Dawn and family.
    Such a huge loss. My heart is breaking for all of you. I spend many great times with Martha Lane and loved her dearly. She was always our leader in laughter. A true southern lady, greased you the T’s . We had a blast with her doing Color Me Beautiful, after 4 hours she decided I could wear black ,white and red. My closet was all pinks, baby blue and lots of denim. She was a mess and every minute with her made me a better person.. she will be missed.

  • Cousin Bunny says:

    My heart goes out to you all for she will be missed. Martha Lane and I started out together as babies playing on a blanket. We were first cousins and born in the same year. I have loved her since I knew what that meant. We grew up together going from kindergarten through the 12th grade. What impact has she had on me? When I was little (4 or 5) I would not drink my milk so my mother would put several spoons of coffee and some sugar in my milk to get me to drink it. Martha Lane and I would often wrestle in the yard. She always beat me (she was tough!). She said the reason she was able to whip me was because she drank milk and I drank coffee. So, I grew up feeling inadequate as a man. I’ll miss you my dear cousin.

  • Roger and Donna Johnson says:

    We have been honored to know Jerry and Martha Lane from our involvement at Indian Rocks Baptist Church. We have been in the same Bible study class for many years. The best compliment I could give them is that their wonderful approach with every person they ever met was just like my parents. They would remember the details of our lives from one meeting to another, because they listen closely and are genuinely interested in our well-being. Her mentorship as a wonderful Christian lady has been one to emulate.
    Martha Lane immediately became a friend of ours due to her warm way of connecting with others. She found a common ground in that the three of us lived in Winston-Salem, NC where Jerry and Mary Lane attended Wake Forest University, which led to many discussions over the years. It was so endearing to talk to Mary Lane and Jerry about their memories of that wonderful city. Since we visited often to see my parents, she was so sincere in how happy she was that I could go spend some time there with family. She always made us feel so good about ourselves with her compliments and observations.
    Martha Lane loved her family with all her heart. She often spoke about the wonderful things that you were doing by serving the Lord and making a difference in our world. When we discussed education, she was animated with how much she enjoyed being an educator and helping students meet their goals at the university level. She was always interested in what we were doing at the middle school level. It meant so much to her that we, too, felt we had followed God will for our lives when we chose education as our profession.
    Martha Lane will be greatly missed, but we know we will see her again in heaven, due to her commitment to Christ. We have so many wonderful memories to which to cling. Every time I think of her I remember how her smile met her beautiful eyes and the joy of the Lord illuminated her face and life.

  • Tom White says:

    Jerry, Dawn, Wayne and family:

    It saddens my heart on the loss of your bride, mother , and grandmother. I remember like it was yesterday, twenty-eight years ago, watching a beautiful sunset on Redington Beach, when this amazing couple, Jerry and Martha Lane, came into my life and have remained there ever since. They have truly exemplified a Christlike marriage-becoming as one-a true team dedicating their lives to serving others. You always said “Jerry and Martha Lane..”
    Although one member of the team was called home, I pray for you Jerry, to find peace, remain strong, and continue the fourth quarter extending it into overtime. Martha Lane truly loved you. I recall the time, shortly after your heart surgery, I got you out on the tennis court. She was beside herself, but she knew you were strong and wouldn’t be on the sidelines for very long. It still didn’t keep her from worrying. A normal person would have needed much longer to recover but not the “Big O”. Martha Lane will be truly missed, but her thoughtful and loving spirit will remain in our hearts forever. My life is better because of Martha Lane.
    Gratefully,
    Tom White

  • Tonjua Williams says:

    Good morning,

    This is Tonjua Williams, President of St. Petersburg College and long time family friend. I grew up at SPC under Dr. Odom’s leadership and he has made such an impact in my life. Outside of SPC, it was very seldom that I would see him without Martha. Martha always shared that she was praying for me and encouraged me to continue to learn and grow spiritually and professionally. She was such a sweet and thoughtful individual who went out of her way to help others. She is one of the most caring individuals I’ve known. Jerry and Martha were a force to be reckoned with. My life has been forever changed because of our paths crossed and we connected.

    Dr. Odom and the Odom family, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Our faith in God will provide strength and nourishment to carry on. Please know that your SPC family stands with you during this time of bereavement and we are praying for you as you celebrate the life of an strong Christian, a faithful wife, an amazing mother and grandmother, and a friend to all – Martha Odom. God bless you.

    Tonjua

  • Julie Davis says:

    So sorry, Wayne my brother. About raising Lazarus, Jesus said, Did I not tell you and promise you that if you if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?

  • Julie Davis says:

    Wayne you are a wonderful father. I am hurting for you and praying for you. Blessings to you and your great family. All prophesies have been fulfilled. Jesus is coming soon!!!!
    Very soon. Love to you

  • Cathy Hakes says:

    Jerry, I am so sorry for your loss. You were my guiding light as I began my career in higher education in 1980. Had it not been for you hiring me to plan a series of campus events that became known the “Wednesday Event” at the former SPJC, I would not be where I am today. Both you and Martha Lane lovingly shepherded my family through difficult times and as a result we have remained friends for over 40 years. We had some fun times like your “Get Up and Go With Jerry O” campaign for FACC president. Martha Lane was always there by your side to cheer you on and made us all laugh with her cute humor and loving gestures. She never failed to travel without her trusty sewing machine “just in case.” Her kindness could be felt by all who met her and instantly became friends. My life has been enriched through knowing her and through the love and kindness you both have shared with me and my family. With love, Cathy

  • Diane Tucker says:

    I am forever grateful and I thank God continually for having brought Jerry & Martha Lane and the entire Odom family into my life. I am a better person because of knowing and associating with this amazing couple. Martha Lane’s passion to help people was like no other – such a heart to help and enrich the lives of others. I smile thinking of some of our conversations, knowing she had researched and was always prepared to tackle any subject with zest and enthusiasm. Whether it be about a place, a person, a food, a vitamin or the Bible she always seemed to have the right answer at the right time. The twinkle and spark in her dancing eyes will be forever in our hearts and minds. Her physical body may no longer be with us but a little piece of her spirit will always shine brightly in our memories. I am praying for all of you, my heart is heavy and know I love you all… Luke 1:37 – For nothing is impossible with God

  • Vince and Doris Estes says:

    We send our thoughts and prayers to Jerry, Dawn, Wayne and the family. Martha Lane was such a kind, pure spirit, we always felt blessed after we spent time with both Martha Lane and Jerry. Living so far away we rarely saw each other, but we will cherish the phone calls we shared. Martha Lane will always be alive in your memories as you share stories with your children, look at pictures and talk about her. You are such a strong family, bless you. We love you! Love, Vince & Doris

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