04 Jan Theo James Odom
November 24, 1907
Theo James Odom
Theo James Odom was born on November 24, 1907 in Needmore, Georgia to Theo Augustus Odom (1881-1962) and Hattie James (1887-1969). He had two living siblings, Horace and Charles. As a child they would go down to the river to play, and use marbles, spinning tops, a yo-yo or play with a billy goat. They would also play baseball with a ball he made out of string and a potato.
Theo began his first job at the age of 14 by sorting mail for the post office for city boxes and rural routes. He and his brothers also delivered special delivery for 8 cents apiece. He even made an overnight trip to Augusta, Georgia to work on the mail train. After graduating from college, he opened and operated service stations, but wanted to return to the mail service. Eventually he moved to Atlanta and made a 35-year career in the U.S. Mail Service.
Theo met Johnnie Lou Merriman while working at the post office. She was working as a telephone officer. They were married on November 20, 1932. They had one son; Weldon born in 1934. Theo and his family attended the New Hope Baptist Church where he was a deacon, steward, Bible school worker, and a nursery worker.
After his retirement from the post office, Theo and his wife traveled extensively. They visited every state in the U.S. and many countries in Europe and in the Middle East.
Theo Odom died at the age of 102 years old in September of 2010. He is buried in Westminster Cemetery in Peachtree City.
By Angela Pendleton
Sources: Fayette County Public Library folder; “Local Resident of Fayette Co. Ref GR”.