Ervin Odell Summers of Collinston, Utah passed away peacefully, surrounded by family in Logan, Utah on Saturday, October 8, 2022 at the age of 94.
He was born on December 23, 1927 in Brigham City, Utah to Ervin and Lenna Mae Marble Summers. Betty, Odell, Rhea, and Lola were the immediate family then. A couple years after losing his sister Rhea, his mother died. He was just six years old. At his mother’s funeral, one of Odell’s close neighbors put her arm around him and told him whenever he was sad to sing or whistle. It was a memory and a life line he used throughout his life.
His father remarried Francessa Wight & gradually five brothers were added to his family. Odell (being the oldest boy) was relied on to work most of the equipment on the dry farm in Bothwell. Long hours were spent driving tractors & growing large acres of sugar beets each summer. Despite being needed on the farm, he fit in school lessons & graduated from Bear River High School.
In the fall of 1947, Odell met Ethel Roberts & called her for a date. They were married on September 3, 1948 in the Salt Lake Temple. Their union was blessed with six children; Jim (Debbie), Mary (Lee) Monroe, Trudy (David) Thompson, Kelly (Scott), Todd (Nanci), Lisa (Brad) Burbank, 23 grandchildren, 64 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren. He considered his family to be his greatest accomplishment. He was proud of his 71 years of marriage to his sweetheart and looked forward to their reunion.
He continued farming from his early years as well as working in instrumentation & electronics at Hill Field & Thiokol. Some of his transducers were chosen for use on the first space shuttle. He was blessed with the gift of ingenuity. It served him well through welding & fabricating, on the farm, in his career & home life, and in many others’ lives as well.
Odell loved music & was blessed with ways to share it. Whether whistling or playing the xylophone, he was able to uplift many. He learned to play the xylophone by ear at the age of 12 but never learned to read music. That talent became one of his life’s callings, boosting others’ spirits through sharing the 571 songs he knew by heart. Countless hours were given putting on programs for the elderly, disabled, & others.
Odell had an optimistic outlook & joy for life. Some of the things that brought him the most joy were his family, skiing, hunting, fishing, & inventing things to improve daily tasks. His love of fishing & inventiveness ‘collided’ in the design of his fishing boat. His ‘custom lounge chair with shade’ was a cause of envy from many surrounding fishermen.
He loved people & never met a stranger. He was an extravert & enjoyed getting to know those around him. He was never too busy to share jokes, stories, & entertain. He had a fantastic memory & loved sharing stories with plenty of details.
Regardless of life’s challenges, he never lacked love & optimism. Even though macular degeneration robbed him of his eyesight, it could never dim his eternal perspective and positive attitude. He was a living example of his faith and enduring to the end. When asked what his advice was for his family, he would be heard saying, “Stay close to the Lord”.
Odell spent the last eighteen months at the Terrace Grove Assisted Living Center where he has made many friends among the staff and other residents. He loved visiting at mealtimes where he was always at the head of the table. He was very entertaining & became everyone’s favorite & will be missed by them. Special thanks to the staff there for their loving care of him.
Odell was preceded in death by his wife, two granddaughters (Hannah Mae & Braydee Alisha Burbank), a grandson-in-law (Chad Huntsman), a great-grandchild (David River Herrmann), and his parents & sisters (Rhea Summers, Lola Roberts, & Betty Hemmert). He is survived by his brothers; Wayne (Donna), Kent (Kay), Lee (Kitty), Clyde (Mary), & Reed (Mary).
Funeral Services will be held at 12:00pm noon on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, at the Beaver Ward church building, 16025 N Beaver Dam Rd Collinston, UT. Friends and family may visit at a viewing held Monday, October 17, 2022, from 6-8 pm at the Rogers & Taylor Funeral Home, 111 N. 100 E. Tremonton, UT and Tuesday morning from 10-11:30am at the Beaver Ward Church prior to the funeral. The service will be livestreamed and may be accessed below.
Interment will be at the Deweyville Cemetery.