Leola Ardele Baldridge Odom
June 4,1928 thru November 18, 2022
Leola Ardele Baldridge was born June 4,1928 to George W. Baldridge and Dora L. Dowler in Beggs, Oklahoma. She had a brother, George W. (Bud) Baldridge and a sister, Janet C. Baldridge Mulkey both deceased. Her family moved to Depew, Oklahoma when her father went to work on the Gas Line. She was a very talented basketball player. She taught school to the black students during segregation. While in middle school, she received an award from the Red Cross for saving a man’s life who was choking. She moved to Sapulpa, Oklahoma her senior year in high school.
Ardele as she was known to most friends and family was baptized at the age of 14 and remained an active and faithful member of the Church of Christ until she died.
On January 10,1946 she married William Ray Gann and had three natural children, Wesley R. Gann proceeded her in death in 2004, Linda S. Gann Smothers, spouse Lee Smothers, of Kansas City, Missouri, and Terri (Teresa) L. Gann Moore of Bixby, Oklahoma. She leaves five grandchildren: Liz Anne Smothers, Leah Smothers, Anthony Gann with Kendall Basore, Malinda (Lindy) Easley with spouse Bobby Easley, and Peter Smothers with wife Megan Smothers. Six great-grandchildren; Katherine (Katie) Smothers, Lauren Gann, Summer Gann, Travis Zenthoefer, Dustin Lykins, and Megan Baise. Four great-great grandchildren, Zackari (Zack) Gann, Otto, Oxley, and Colton Zenthoefer. She married William L. Odom December 26, 1961, also deceased. She leaves behind many family members, nieces, nephews, and cousins whose lives she has touched.
Ardele loved to have fun. Hobbies included fishing, hunting, running up and down ball fields and dressing up for Halloween. Her favorite activities included caring for her family and her Church family in need, providing food, singing, and fellowship.
She took many children into her home when they needed somewhere to live. They always had a safe place to go. She pulled many teeth of her children’s friends paying them a dollar. Fifty to one hundred trick or treaters flocked to her home for their treats and knocked on the door anytime for cookies.
She is known for her love, kindness, giving, and caring heart.
Ardele passed away at her home in Bixby, Oklahoma November 18, 2022. God gained a beautiful soul and she will be missed by many.
Favorite Verse in the Bible:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
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