Coker UniversityAlumnus UpdatesFamily NewsDr. Sara Smith Odom
Dr. Sara Smith Odom

Dr. Sara Smith Odom

LT Phillip Marshall Odom, USN, Retired, 79, died Saturday, April 25, 2020. Born in Hartsville, SC, he was a son of the late William Thomas Odom, Jr. and Dorothy Mae Knotts Odom. Following graduation from Hartsville High School in 1959, he joined the U.S. Navy where he proudly served for over 20 years in both the U.S. naval submarine and surface fleets around the globe and rose from enlisted to officer along the journey. During his naval service, he earned an industrial engineering degree from the University of West Florida and retired as a full Lieutenant in the spring of 1980.

Returning to his hometown after his naval career, LT Odom served as an engineer and proud employee of Carolina Power & Light Co and Progress Energy – retiring from the H.B. Robinson Plant in 2003. Throughout this second career, LT Odom pursued his love of horticulture and small business. He was the owner-operator of The Plant House in Hartsville where he was well known for his annual holiday Christmas Tree sales and brought Christmas joy for many years to the Hartsville and Darlington communities. He was a life-long learner who enjoyed working with his hands and always had multiple projects ongoing.

He loved daily breakfast get-togethers with his siblings, extended family, and friends in the local community. An inquisitive adventurer, he enjoyed traveling the world with his wife, Sara, of almost 58 years. He embraced all of the wonders of life with her; their 4 children and their spouses; and 15 grandchildren (or Bebops). The memories of summers at Folly Beach and Disney World trips with Pop – as he was affectionately known by his grandchildren – will forever bring smiles and joy.

A devout Christian and selfless servant-leader, LT Odom was actively engaged in St Luke United Methodist Church and the First Church of God of the Reformation.

Surviving are his wife, Dr. Sara Odom of Hartsville, SC; children and grandchildren, Marshall and Kylee Odom of Hendersonville, NC (Nicholas, Madison and Jake House, Alexa, and Victoria); Dr. William and Jess Odom of Columbia, SC (Connor, Abigail, Ellie, EJ, Maverick, and Malachi); BGen David and Michelle Odom of Camp Lejeune, NC (Tasher and Barrett); daughter and son-in-law, Marla (Odom) and Rev. Dr. Jon Payne of Mount Pleasant, SC (Mary Hannah and Hans); and sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy (Odom) and William Jones of Hartsville, SC.

A closed graveside service will be held at Fort Jackson National Cemetery, Columbia, SC. The Pastor Carl Hunsucker, St. Luke United Methodist Church, will officiate. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to The Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (IPF Foundation – in memory of LT Phillip M. Odom.