23 March 2009

kalb personality ethma odum dies

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Ethma Ewing Odum

Funeral services for Ethma Odum will be held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2009, in the Chapel of John Kramer & Son with the Rev. Bill McCullin, officiating. Interment will be in Alexandria Memorial Gardens, Alexandria, under the direction of John Kramer & Son.

Ethma Odum, 77, of Alexandria, died on Sunday, March 22, 2009 in Alexandria.

Her parents, Charles Earl Ewing and Fannie Griffin Ewing; brothers, Charles E. Ewing, Jr, Brandon Ewing, and Harry G. Ewing preceded her in death.

Mrs. Odum was a native of Alexandria and was a long time personality on KALB-TV. She produced the Ethma Odum Show, a 30-minute live broadcast five days each week for over 20 years. During her career, she produced several "Special Report" programs for television. For 33 years, she provided private tutoring services for Alexandria students.

She was a member of First United Methodist Church of Alexandria where she taught Sunday school for over 50 years. She was a member of the Junior League of Alexandria and was named its Sustainer of the Year in 1972, the Alexandria Garden Club and past President and member of the LSUA Foundation Board.

During her career in television, she received numerous awards including the McCalls Magazine "Women in Radio and TV Golden Mike Award", the Abe Lincoln Award for Distinguished Broadcasters, the American Cancer Society Award for Cancer Awareness and the Louisiana Medical Society Award for Excellence for Cholesterol Screening. Additionally, Mrs.

Odum received the DAR Award of Excellence in 1992 and again in 2001. She received the Salvation Army's Darcus Award, the Spirit of Giving Award from the YWCA and CENLA'S Best Inc. Black Heritage Award for Community Outreach. In 2000, she received the National Prime Time Award in Washington, D.C. and the American Cancer Society Award. Locally, she received the Alexandria Bar Association Bell Award. She also received the LAE Award for Excellence in 1992 and the LAE Award for Friend of Education in 1995.

Ethma received the Outstanding Older Worker for the State of Louisiana that was presented by the Green Thumb, Inc.

She was appointed by President Richard M. Nixon to serve a three year term on the "Difference Advisory Committee on Women in the Services", one of 50 women in the United States to serve.

She retired from her television career in 2002 and will always be remembered for her closing slogan, "Homemaker, don't neglect your health, get your cancer checkup."

Ethma Odum is survived by her husband Billy J. Odum of Alexandria; one daughter, Budda Odum-McCullin and her husband, Bill McCullin of Alexandria; two grandchildren, Alice' Elaine McCullin and Brian Hal McCullin of Alexandria; brother: Jack A. Ewing, of Alexandria.

Friends are asked to call from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday, March 23, 2009 and from Noon until time of service Tuesday at John Kramer & Son.

The family wishes to express its sincere thanks to Dr. Bruce Barton, St. Joseph Hospice and the many nurses, nurses' aides and private sitters for her care. The family would like to especially thank, Sharon Jones, for her loving care and devotion.

The family request memorials be sent to the Alzheimer's Association, 3717 Government Street, Alexandria, Louisiana 71302.

On-line notes of condolence may be sent to the family at Kramerfunerals@aol.com.