Hugh Verne Odlin, Jr. was born on May 31, 1927, in Placerville, California, to Dillie and Hugh Odlin, Sr. He died peacefully in his sleep on January 31, 2022, at Marshall Hospital in Placerville. As a child, he walked to Coon Hollow School, the one-room school that his mother attended. In May 1945, Verne received a draft notice while he was a senior at El Dorado High School. He graduated and chose to serve in the United States Navy.
After the war, a Navy friend talked him into attending UC Berkeley on the GI Bill. He met Joyce Long on a blind date, and they were inseparable from then on. They were married in the Berkeley Congregational Church on June 18, 1950.
After Verne graduated in 1952, Joyce’s father invited him to join him in his business, Long Filmslide Service. Eventually he and Joyce took over the business. They raised four children, Debbie, Sharon, Ken, and Tricia, in their home in the hills of El Cerrito, California. They were members of the building committee for the El Cerrito United Methodist Church, where Verne served in many ways, including as Sunday School Superintendent. Verne learned public speaking in Toastmasters and joined the Rotary Club where he was president and was awarded their highest honor twice. He was the official photographer for the El Cerrito Rotary Club, the El Cerrito Historical Society, the El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce and their United Methodist Church Conference. An Eagle Scout, he loved to camp and fish, and became Scout Master of Troop 104 when his son, Ken, was old enough to join.
While their children attended El Cerrito High School, Verne and Joyce volunteered with the Rotary and American Field Service student exchange programs, and hosted students from the Philippines, Australia, and South Africa. Verne and Joyce were hosted by El Cerrito’s sister city, Chelsea, located in Australia, and then reciprocated by hosting them, gaining close friends. In the 1980s, they became active members of Arlington Community Church and faithfully served meals at the Richmond Rescue Mission.
Verne and Joyce took trips to Death Valley and New England with his SIRS (Sons in Retirement) club. They held National Night Out gatherings and started a neighborhood adopt-the-park program at the park next door, Huber Park. Before they left El Cerrito, they were honored by their neighborhood and the Chamber of Commerce for their service to the community.
After retiring, Verne and Joyce built a home on his family’s land in Placerville. They joined Verne’s childhood church, El Dorado County Federated Church, and the Fleet Reserve Association. Verne served as photographer and docent for the Placerville Historical Society. When he was no longer able to travel, Verne was content to stay home, enjoying the views and the wildlife. All who knew Verne described him as a kind, sweet person. His motto was “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” He always encouraged others to look at the bright side.
Verne is survived by his beloved wife of 71 years, Joyce, their four children: Debbie Mallis (Bob), Sharon Gould (Mark), Ken Odlin (Melissa), and Tricia Robertson Walz (Jon), 13 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Preceding him in death were his parents, Hugh and Dillie Odlin, brothers David “Buster” Odlin and Richard Odlin, and son-in-law, Scott Robertson. He will be greatly missed, but his loving legacy lives on.
El Dorado County Federated Church
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