Galen LeRoy Odden, beloved son, brother, uncle, father and grandfather, passed away on Wednesday Jan. 6 in Anchorage Alaska.
Galen was born on March 14, 1962 in Mora to Clifford and Joyce (Copeland) Odden, the seventh of eight children. He grew up on a farm just outside of Isle with five sisters and two brothers and attended Isle High School.
Galen was an adorable little boy with a ready smile, a quick wit and a gift for mischief; amazing qualities he carried with him his whole life. Galen never met a stranger and his generosity with his friends and family was legendary. He was a gentle giant who left a lasting impression everywhere he went. Galen worked at many occupations: logger, gold miner, equipment operator, truck brake mechanic and a myriad of construction trades. Galen had a talent for figuring things out, could do just about any job and he had more ideas for inventions and innovations than Carter’s has liver pills (to borrow a favorite phrase from his Mom.) Galen had countless wild and wonderful adventures, usually accompanied by his faithful canine companion Miss Lady and often with his brother Keith. Family gatherings were enriched when “the boys” would regale us with their hilarious stories, some of which we think they should not tell Mom until she turns 90.
The last few years were difficult for Galen as he struggled with the heart issues that ultimately took him from us. Throughout his ordeal he was always there with a joke or quick comeback, a man of endless smiles. He faced each challenge with courage, strength and optimism.
Galen was preceded in death by his sisters, Tenley and Nancy and his father Clifford.
Galen is survived and will be greatly missed by his daughter, Kara; granddaughter, Anayse (Ann); mother, Joyce; sisters: Susan (Marc), Dorothy (David), Anna; brothers, Bud (Kathy) and Keith (Deedee); and dozens of aunts, uncles, cousins and nieces and nephews - regular, great and great-great.
Galen rediscovered his faith in the last months of his life and this was a great comfort to him, just as we can all find comfort in Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Blessed be the memory of Galen Odden.
Galen didn’t want any kind of service or fuss to mark his passing but we, his family and friends, need to gather, share memories and comfort each other. A Celebration of Life will be held in Wasilla, Alaska on May 29. On June 5 in North Pole, Alaska, we will celebrate his life and, honoring his last request, scatter his ashes. Details (time and location) for both events will be provided at a later date.