Mary Lynn Odom, age 58, passed peacefully into the hands of the Lord Jesus on December 7, 2023. She was the wife of Jimmy Odom, Sr., for 22 years.
She was born on July 2, 1965, as Mary Lynn Vendrick in San Antonio, Texas, at Lackland Air Force Base. She was the fourth child of Howard Dale Vendrick and Bonnie Lea Williams. She had two older brothers and one older adopted sister, and was proud to be the youngest in her family.
Something life-changing happened to her at the age of 18. On April 18, 1984, she accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and trusted Him by faith to wash her sins away. Any of you that knew her, experienced the light that she carried in her soul as a redeemed child of God.
Mary graduated in 1983 from Mulvane (Kan.) High School as Salutatorian. She had her first library job in high school when the principal told her that she wouldn’t have to take chemistry if she would serve as an aide in the school library. This one decision set her on the career path of becoming a librarian. She graduated with honors from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan., with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Research in 1989.
Mary started her library career in 1996 at the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, where she served as a reference assistant. Eventually, she because the assistant director for the Red Bridge branch while earning her Master’s Degree in library science. After earning her Master’s in 2003, Mary became the reference librarian for National American University and helped to launch their first nursing program at the Zona Rosa campus.
Then came her dream job of directing the Research Library at the International Association of Assessing Officers in downtown Kansas City. IAAO is a large professional association with 8,000 property tax assessors as members.
After earning the Certified Association Executive designation in 2020, she started her own consulting company. Some of her most recent clients for which she served as an executive director were the Kansas City Chapter of the National Utility Contractor’s Association, the International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City, and the Missouri Section of the American Water Works Association.
She and her husband, Jimmy Odom, Sr., enjoyed buying and renovating residential properties, political and community involvement, faithfully serving at Manna Fellowship Church, coaching other stepfamily couples and supporting all marriages thorugh volunteering with Family Life Ministries.
Mary found time to volunteer for Restoration House, which is a home for human trafficking survivors. One of her favorite activities was Zumba exercise classes. Mary loved it so much that she obtained an instructor’s license so she could teach her own Zumba classes at Restoration House and Manna Fellowship Church.
She is survived by her husband, Jimmy Odom, Sr.; her daughters, Erica (Tim) Bennett of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Nicole Smith of Kansas City, Mo.; three stepsons, Jimmy (Tracie) Odom, Jr., of Belton, Gregory (Tara) Odom of Raymore, and Jonathan Odom of Lee’s Summit; two siblings, Cathryn (Mike) Maddy of Derby, Kan., and Paul Vendrick of Las Vegas, Nev.; her father, Howard (Judy) Vendrick of Ooltewah, Tenn.; six step-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Bonnie Lea Wyly, and her brother, Mark Alan Vendrick.
The memorial service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 11 a.m. at Manna Fellowship Church, 17617 S. MO-291, Pleasant Hill. The visitation will be held prior to the service, beginning at 9:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ALS Association.