Cover photo for Sylvia J. Odum's Obituary
Sylvia J. Odum Profile Photo

Sylvia J. Odum

August 17, 1948 — February 17, 2021

Sylvia Jean Odum was born on August 17, 1948 to the late Thomas (Rock) and Dewitt (DeeDee) Odum in Nashville, Tennessee. She graduated Honors in the Top 10 of her class at Haynes High School in 1966. Sylvia was a graduate of Tennessee State University for undergrad and received her Masters degree from Cumberland University in May of 2004.

Sylvia's professional career included employment with Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, Meharry Medical College, and Tennessee's Department of Employment Security. Her career also included employment with the State's Department of Transportation, where she served as the State wide Title VI Coordinator, overseeing the compliance of that Department's contractual vendors with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Sylvia accepted Christ in her life at a young age. She was a member of Beech Creek Baptist Church and later joined Ephesian Primitive Baptist Church.

Sylvia was initiated in the Nashville Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 1985. She later became an active member of the Nashville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was a devoted member of Mes Amies and the Circle of 12.

She was affectionately called by her great nieces, Aunt Sylvia, Nana and Nina. Sylvia loved fashion, travel, volunteering and wearing red.

She is proceeded in death by her sisters Jimmie (Elliot) Whitelaw, Ruby Cantrell and Mae Boyd. Aunts, Emma Crutcher and Nettie (Jim) Morthel. Niece, Darshelle Boyd and cousin Eunice Thomas Dixson.

She is survived by her loving nieces, Rhonda Cantrell Dunn, Vicky Cantrell, Tammy Cantrell, and Crystal Whitelaw. Nephews, Thomas (Darlene) Boyd, James Boyd and Bruce Whitelaw. Great nieces, Lacie K. Dunn, Lindsey Lee (her only goddaughter), MacKenzie Booth, Diondreia Hereford, Alexis Boyd, Kiara Steverson and Jaiden Whitelaw. Great nephew, Zahkel Elliott Whitelaw. Devoted cousins, Eddie (Robin) Morthel, Jimmie (Larry) Jacobs, Thomas Gourley Morthel, Tommy (Vivian) Crutcher, Janie Thomas Bates, Fred, James, Jackie, Doris and Trudie Thomas. Loving Brother-in-laws Jeffery Cantrell Jr. and Herbert Boyd. Along with a host of cousins, great-great nieces and nephews and close friends.

Public Walk Through will be held Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at Lewis and Wright Funeral Directors.

Celebration of Life service will be held Friday, February 26, 2021 at 12 Noon at Ephesian Primitive Baptist Church; with visitation held from 11:00 a.m. - 12 Noon.

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