NEW MIDDLETOWN- Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday at the New Middletown chapel of Clemente Funeral Home for Howard C. O’Dea, 89, who passed away on Friday [February 25, 2011] at Sterling House of Salem after a short illness.
Howard was born on June 5, 1921, and raised in Nebraska, son of Ruth and Charles O’Dea. He moved to Denver, Col., where he met his future wife, Myrtle M. Pettit.
They were married on Aug. 14, 1942. Howard then joined the Marine Corps during World War II, serving first as a replacement in the First Raider Battalion, Edson’s Raiders, then with the Fourth Marines and finally the Sixth Marine [Division]. He served from New Caledonia to New Georgia to Guadalcanal to Guam to Okinawa and finally the occupation of Japan. Howard was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps during the occupation of Japan with the rank of sergeant.
After his discharge from the Marine Corps, Howard was reunited with his wife in Youngstown. He and Myrtle had two children, Patricia S. and Thomas C., and made their home in Poland.
Howard worked at several places in the area before coming to the E.W. Bliss Company of Salem where he worked as a floor engineer. He held many union positions while working at E.W. Bliss, including president of Local 3372 of the United Steelworkers. He retired as a staff representative of the United Steelworkers in 1985.
Howard was an avid golfer and enjoyed traveling by car across the country.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Myrtle M., in 2004; his son, Thomas C., in 2005; and his daughter, Patricia S. Opsitnik, in 2011; as well as his parents, his sister, Margaret, and his brother, James.
Howard is survived by his son-in-law, William G. Opsitnik of New Middletown; two grandchildren, William C. (Milissa) Opsitnik of Salem, with whom Howard had made his home prior to living at Sterling House of Salem; and Katherine (Mike) Miller of Powell, Ohio. He leaves his cherished great-grandchildren, W. Cody and Alissa A. Opsitnik.
Friends may call two hours before the service at the funeral home from 9 to 11 a.m. on Monday.
If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the donor’s choice.