Cover photo for Richard Odden's Obituary
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1952 Richard 2024

Richard Odden

May 15, 1952 — March 4, 2024

Richard "Rick" Odden, 71, of Fergus Falls, MN died Monday, March 4, 2024 at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, ND surrounded by "his three girls."

Rick was born to Sanford and Harriet (Nelson) Odden in Fergus Falls on May 15, 1952. He was the third of four children. He attended Fergus Falls Public Schools, graduating in 1971. He participated in hockey, football, tennis, track, basketball, and choir. He attended Fergus Falls Community College, where he sang in the choirs, and played football and basketball. In 1975, he transferred to Michigan State University and earned his degree in Turfgrass Management in 1977.

Rick and his high school sweetheart, Rebecca "Becky" Johnson were married on September 7, 1974 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, where he was a lifelong member. They lived and worked in St. Paul for one year before moving to Michigan while he completed his degree. After graduating, he worked as Assistant Golf Course Superintendent at Saginaw Country Club in Saginaw, Michigan. In March of 1979, they returned to Fergus Falls, where he began his 35-year tenure as Pebble Lake Golf Course Superintendent, retiring in December 2014. He was inducted as a "Legend" of Pebble Lake Golf Course in July of 2015. He served in elected positions for the North Central Turf Association and was a Class AA member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America for 47 years. He later developed and taught the Golf Turf Management course for two years at M State in Fergus Falls as a "community expert."

A highlight of Rick's life was being the Assistant Men's Basketball Coach for the Fergus Falls Community College Spartans for nearly two decades. He spent years mentoring, loving, feeding, and supporting the players, often claiming them as his own and as a part of his family. After retiring as coach and superintendent, he continued to encourage his grandkids through their activities and educational journeys. From volunteering as a captain of the Fergus Falls Fishing Team to cross country road trips to support Paige at the Air Force Academy, he loved reminding them to work toward success, and boasted of their endeavors until his last days on earth. He shared his knowledge with his grandsons and countless athletes, often with handwritten notes of his distinct "font" filled with "X's and O's."

Many people enjoyed listening to him sing and play guitar and ukulele in the Odden living room. He was a proud member of the Men of Note, singing tenor and baritone. Over the years, Rick played city league basketball, won long drive contests, played countless rounds of golf, cruised the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Alaska, had long running cribbage games, took pride in a perfectly "striped" lawn, collected and tested new found recipes, made a famous Caesar salad, dressed sharp, deeply loved his family, and was content in the boat with family, friends, Becky, and especially "his boys" with a big bass or walleye on the line. He made lasting impacts in many people's lives. He was known for his bear hugs, gentle personality, and never-ending generosity. He had a unique ability to make people around him feel valued, loved, welcomed, and cared for.

Rick was preceded in death by his parents, Sanford and Harriet Odden, brother, Paul Odden, and Father-in-law, Elton Johnson.

He is survived by his wife Becky, of Fergus Falls; daughters Abby (Jason) Drouillard of Fergus Falls, Laura (Todd) Quaintance of Underwood; grandchildren Layten, Colten, Trenten Drouillard of Fergus Falls, Paige (Derek) Minges of Okinawa, Japan; great-grandchildren Maggie, Keller, and Jett Minges; sisters Penny Nelson of Humboldt, IA and Sandy Kurtz of Fairmount, ND; sisters-in-law Mary (Paul) Odden of Apple Valley, Glenda (Les) Anderson of Red Wing, and Paula (Brad) Russell of Fergus Falls; mother-in-law Florence (Elton) Johnson, along with many aunts, uncles, goddaughters, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Blessed be the memory of Rick Odden.

Memorials are preferred to 544 Education Foundation, Fergus Area College Foundation to benefit the Spartan Men's Basketball Team, or Bethlehem Foundation.

Visitation: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday, March 11, 2024 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, with prayer service at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will resume one-hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorial Service: 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls. Link to the service, https://youtube.com/live/jEa4FWDA2_Y?feature=share

Clergy: Reverend Loren Mellum

Interment: Knollwood Memorial Gardens, Fergus Falls, MN


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Monday, March 11, 2024

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Monday, March 11, 2024

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

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