June Odom honored with Chamber’s Citizen of the Year award at Annual Meeting
On Thursday, June Odom of Decatur was presented the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce Miss Athelyne C. Banks Citizen of the Year award for her contributions and volunteerism in the community.
The award, presented each year at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, is named after the longtime Decatur educator and honors those whose life reflects the dedication, service and faithfulness to Decatur modeled in the example of Ms. Banks.
“June Odom has been and continues to be a tremendous volunteer and advocate in this community,” said John Seymour, president and CEO of the Chamber. “Her passion for progress in this community is unmatched, especially in the areas of healthcare and beautification. Travel across this area and it doesn’t take long to see her impact on Decatur, an impact which will last for generations. She continues to make our community a better place to live and work.”
A native of McKenzie, Ala., a town with a population of a little more than 500, Odom graduated from McKenzie High School, and later received her nursing degree from the St. Margaret’s Hospital School of Nursing in Montgomery. She moved to Decatur with her husband, Jim, in 1955 and immediately became an active member in the community – specifically at First Baptist Church, Decatur.
“June spends every day thinking of ways to better our community,” said Trudy Grisham, a past winner of the award and who nominated Odom. “From our parks to her church, our community hospital, and many other organizations supporting our community, she is a faithful and devoted servant.”
In her community life, Odom has served and continues to serve a long list of organizations. She served as the chair of the Frazier Park design and fundraising committee, chair of the fashion show committee for the Community Free Clinic, chair of the Power of Pink fashion show and luncheon, chair of the hospitality committee at First Baptist Church, co-chair of Gala XVII, serves on the Executive Committee and as a trustee of the Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation, and serves on the Hospital Foundation Guild. Other areas where she has volunteered countless hours and resources include the Delano Park Committee, Decatur Assembly, the Princess Theater Center for the Performing Arts and the Junior League of Morgan County – the latter of which she served on the committee that created the first edition of the Cotton Country Cookbook. She was the recipient of the John A Caddell Award at Gala XXII, an honor recognizing a doctor and a non-medical person who contribute to the betterment of the community.
June and Jim Odom have been married 63 years and have two children and four grandchildren. Their daughter, Melanie Odom, lives in Decatur; their son, James B. Odom, Jr., and his wife Lee Anne and four children live in Texas.
Ms. Banks – for whom the award is named – devoted 42 years of her life to education, serving 29 of them with Decatur City Schools. She was a public school teacher, the first woman principal at Carver Elementary School and a public school administrator. The award honors a member of our community whose life reflects the dedication, service and faithfulness to Decatur modeled in the example of Miss Banks. Chamber members submitted nominations for the award, and applications were judged by a committee of past recipients.