Bonnie J. Odle (’44) died Nov. 7, 2023 at the age of 101.
Born in Kusa, Oklahoma, she has been a fixture of the Taylor community since she began her time here, graduating with a bachelor of arts in English and history, according to Armes Hunt Funeral Home.
In 1952, her husband, Don Odle, started Venture for Victory, a sports evangelism program that traveled around the world with college all-star teams, using basketball as a means to present the gospel. Mrs. Odle was a vital part of that mission, alongside her husband, from 1952 to 1964, according to Armes Hunt Funeral Home.
“Our strong recollections of Bonnie are that she was a very caring, friendly lady who was totally loyal and supportive of her husband, Don, and was a committed Christian who lived her faith.” Alan Winquist, a retired TU professor and a friend of the Odles’ said.
Odle was known to welcome travelers and students into her home, including missionaries and pastors as well as hosting Bible studies, prayer groups and wing events.
“She truly had an open home and an open heart,” Kari Manganello, a neighbor and friend of the Odles’, said. “I would describe Bonnie with two words: kind and joyful. Her husband, Don, was the public speaker; Bonnie was a lover of people.”
Taylor University has honored Odle with numerous awards, including the Alumni Merit Award, and Distinguished Alumna award. The Taylor gymnasium, named the Don and Bonnie Odle Arena, is to honor their work in sports evangelism, Odle’s obituary read.
“Bonnie is one of Taylor‘s giants and represents a significant part of our faithful legacy,” Mike Falder, vice president for advancement said. “Her love of Taylor and our mission has been a blessing and will be greatly missed.”
To read more about Odle’s life and contributions to Taylor history, visit the Armes Hunt Funeral Home website.