Meryla Odden

Nov. 23, 1924-Aug. 23, 2018

Meryla (Merle) Ada Od-

den was born Nov. 23,

1924, in Sydney, Aus-

tralia. The daughter of

Harry and Ada Smalden,

she had one sibling, her

brother Harry.

Merle’s life changed

dramatically when she

met John Odden, an

American serviceman

who was stationed in Syd-

ney. The couple married

and, in their first years of

marriage, welcomed sons

Robert and Keith.

Upon John’s discharge

from the U.S. Army, the

young family moved to

North Dakota. Their first

home was in Berwick.

Over the next few years,

the Odden family grew to

include son David and

daughter Maureen. John

and Merle put down roots

in Rugby, where they

reared their children.

The Odden home soon

became a gathering place

for family, extended fami-

ly and friends. Many

meals were shared, count-

less cups of coffee were

served and much laughter

was shared around the

kitchen table.

Merle’s greatest passion

in life was caring for her

family. She especially en-

joyed spending time with

children – all children –

and she was affectionately

known by many as

“Auntie Merle.”

She is survived by her

son Robert of Evanston,

Wyoming, daughter-in-

law Jackie Odden of

Minot and son David

(Cheryl) of Garrison. She

will be missed by her

grandchildren Brady Od-

den, Tandi Odden, Kylie

Cooke, Christopher Od-

den, Sara Odden, Leah

Odden (Derek Radke) and

Robin Throw. Her loved

ones include great-grand-

children Randie Odden,

Joshua Cooke, Amber

Cooke, Kaia Radke and

Gabriel Radke.

At the time of her

death, Merle was a

resident of Garrison. She

was preceded in death by

her parents, her brother,

her husband of almost 60

years, her son Keith and

daughter Maureen. She

was also preceded by her

friend Gwen Baddeley,

While growing up in

Australia, Merle and

Gwen became friends and

formed a lifelong bond

that continued throughout

their lives. Even though

they were later separated

by an ocean, the two

eventually had grandchil-dren and great-grand-

children in common.

Merle’s life will be cele-

brated Tuesday, Aug. 28

during a 1 pm service at

Thompson Funeral Home,

Garrison. Visitation will

begin at noon. Merle will

be laid to rest next to her

husband at the Garrison

City Cemetery.