Rita Diane Oden

Sept. 27, 1942-Jan. 9, 2007

Rita Diane Oden, 64, of Sweet Home died Jan. 9, 2007.

She was born Sept. 27, 1942, the second of five children, to Henry and Margaret Rebbe in Rock Springs, Wyo., where her father was employed as superintendent of schools. Her family later moved to Southern California in the early 1950s, where she graduated from Burbank High School in 1959. She attended the University of Southern California, majoring in microbiology, where she met her soul mate, Clifford L. Oden. They married on Sept. 12, 1964.

While moving from Southern California to New York during her husband’s employment, they raised three children, Craig, Eric, and Kimberli. The family was relocated to Brea, Calif., in 1970 when Atlantic Richfield Company relocated its corporate headquarters to Los Angeles. From 1970 to 1989, the couple volunteered their time and energies to many community organizations and youth programs in which their children participated. The Odens were instrumental in the development and operation of both the Brea Booster & Community Foundations, while spearheading the planning, development and eventual construction of the new modern technologically advanced Brea High School.

When Cliff Oden retired from ARCO in1985 due to health problems, the Odens began a search over the next four years for the perfect retirement home and community, eventually settling in Foster in 1989. They formed new friendships and became involved in many local community activities and economic development programs. In 1990, they teamed up with Marge Gail and other community organizers in developing the Sweet Home Economic Development Group and the initial Oregon Jamboree that continues today.

Mrs. Oden’s talents were many, incluing cooking, card making, calligraphy, needlework, scrapbooking, and playing the electric piano. In addition to her God-given abilities to touch the lives of all she met, her greatest accomplishments, memories and fondest moments came as a wife, mother, and grandmother when preparing large festive meals on holidays and special occasions for the entire family and friends. She lovingly devoted her life to the relationship she shared with her husband, working side by side in accomplishing their shared interests and visions.

Mrs. Oden is survived by her husband, Clifford Lorance Oden; her two sons, Craig Lorance Oden and Eric Douglas Oden; her daughter, Kimberli Jo (Oden) Schmidt; her step-daughter Michele Reichardt Robelen; five grandchildren; sisters, Bette Tillett and Lana Fredericks, a brother, Randall Rebbe; nieces and nephews Daniel and Dale Marks, Ted and Tim Oden, Debbie Tracy, Shannon Tillett, Cory Tillett, and Erin Fredericks.

A private celebration of Mrs. Oden’s life was held at the Oden residence on Jan. 13.