ODLAND, Thomas William “Willie”
Thomas William “Willie” Odland was born on May 1, 1930, in Drumheller, Alta., to Swen and Emma Odland. He grew up on family farms near Wayne and Blackie, then moved to Calgary for a few years before settling on a farm outside of Strathmore with sisters Elaine and Irene and brother Swen.
At the age of 22, Willie signed up for the Royal Canadian Navy at HMCS Tecumseh in Calgary and was dispatched to HMCS Cornwallis for basic training. During his 19-year career, he served on HMCS Magnificent, HMCS Bonaventure, and HMCS Provider travelling the Caribbean and to Europe. One of his favourite trips was to Bergen, Norway, where he was able to visit relatives. Along the way, he met Anne Kathleen Davis in 1953. They married in 1954 and settled near HMCS Shearwater in Nova Scotia. Anne and Willie had six children: Kirk, Kathy, Keith, Karl, Karen, and Kim.
When he’d return from sea, Willie would enjoy spending time with family and summers camping and picnicking around Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and PEI. In 1965, the Odlands moved across the country to Vancouver Island and settled in Sidney, B.C., where Willie worked at VU33 at the Victoria International Airport. He retired from the Royal Canadian Navy in 1971 and another move brought them back to Alberta to Whitecourt where he worked for the Provincial Government as the airport manager. He and Anne moved to Edson, and then to Pincher Creek where he managed the airports until his retirement in 1995.
Willie was quick to deliver a joke and, in his younger years, could roll a cigarette with one hand — while driving and disciplining six children. Willie enjoyed playing cards of all kinds, especially Crib, Golf, and Hand and Foot Canasta, along with a bowl of chips and dip. Upon retirement, he became a skilled wood worker and spent his spare time creating many beautiful pieces for his family.
In his golden years, Willie and Anne enjoyed spending time with their family, bowling, walking, playing cards, camping, and browsing Costco. An avid reader, even up until his peaceful passing, he’d never be seen without a book.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Anne and children Kirk (Mary), Kathy (John), Keith (Sylvia), Karl (Nicole), Karen (George), and Kim. He was a Grandpa and a Papa to 14 — Kristen (Jonathan); JD (Katie) and Karlee (Amira); Jason (predeceased), Ryan (predeceased), Cody (Caitlyn), Samantha (Craig), Alex, and Aiden; Jordan and Lauren; Ashlee (Kyle), Sara, and Brett (Jenny). He was also a great-grandfather to 11— Kennedy and Kelly; Ellie and Andrew; Zaylee; Kayden and Paisley; JJ and Wyatt; and Taylor and Ava.
Willie always had a smile on his face, laughter in his heart, and a hug for those he loved.
There will be an interment and service at a later date in Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland.
Serenity Funeral Service, Leduc Ph: 780.980.3688