Gerald Odegaard March 18, 1926 - December 19, 2020
Gerald Odegaard March 18, 1926 - December 19, 2020

Gerald Odegaard 94 of Thief River Falls, MN passed away on Saturday. December 19, 2020 surrounded by his loving family at Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls, MN.

Funeral service will be held on January 5, 2021 at 2:00 PM at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN with Reverend Mark Helgeland officiating. Visitation will be held that same day starting at 11:00 AM at the funeral home. Burial will be held in the spring of 2021 at Greenwood Cemetery in Thief River Falls, MN.

Gerald Jerome Odegaard was born March 18, 1926 north of Sacred Heart, MN son of Hans and Alma (Tufto) Odegaard. He was raised and attended school near Renville, MN. He was drafted into the US Army on August 31, 1944 and served his country until his honorable discharge on July 7, 1946. He received 2 bronze stars for his service. He returned to Renville where he drove milk truck.

On December 7, 1947 he was united in marriage to Avis Nygaard at the Granite Falls Lutheran Church in Granite Falls, MN. To This union 4 children were born Larry, Charles, Patricia and Ann. The couple made their home in Granite Falls where Jerry managed Tri County Cooperative. In December of 1967 the family moved to Thief River Falls where he managed Consumers Coop. Jerry then worked for Arctic Cat until 1981, he drove for Hartz Truck Line for many years, the couple purchased and ran Johnnies Café. He managed the American Legion Club in Thief River Falls and for many years drove school bus for the Thief River Falls school district until 2007. Jerry continued his busy lifestyle up to last year mowing lawns. Avis & Jerry loved animals and always had a pet in the house.

Jerry enjoyed camping, fishing, and hunting, snowmobiling, and playing cards right up to the end. He looked forward each day having coffee with his friends at the Legion and made his rounds visiting people in Thief River Falls. Most of all he loved the time spent with his family. He was a member of the American Legion serving on local, district and department levels, 40&8 and VFW in Thief River Falls, serving many years on the Color Guard. He was also a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Jerry is survived by his children Larry (Marlene) Odegaard of Park Rapids, MN, Chuck (Sharon) Odegaard of Thief River Falls, MN and Ann (Rocky) Joppru of Thief River Falls, MN; son-in-law Paul (Marie) Smeby of Thief River Falls, MN; grandchildren Shawn (Kelly) Qualley. Sean (Debbie) Odegaard, Shane (Kelly) Odegaard, Lisa (Tim) Sedlacek, Kristen (Matt) Bjerklie, Skye Odegaard. Sarah Smeby. Kelly Smeby, Keaton (Brooke) Joppru, Kristopher Joppru; great-grandchildren Zoe, Sam, Jason, Kia, Cali, Brianna, Nathan, Liza. Jersey, Noah, Trevor, Wyatt, Jackson, Zane. Jazmyne, Manuel, Toni, Hope, Andrea and Marlene; several great-great grandchildren; sister Geraldine Wick of Cambridge, MN along with several nieces and nephews.

Jerry is preceded in death by his wife Avis in 2015, daughter Patti in 2003, granddaughter Lacy Ann Joppru in 1989. Step-grandson Chad Qualley in 2005, parents Hans and Alma, brother Dave (Billie June) Odegaard, brother-in-law Don Wick