ST. GEORGE - Ray Patrick Odette, 72, passed away Sept. 19, 2010 at home in St. George after suffering a massive stroke. He was born to L.A. "Swede" and Mildred Paulson Odette on April 17, 1938 in Long Beach, Calif. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, the former Rose Mele of Price and four children, Ray Richard (Michelle Astin), Dan Frank (Rebecca Morgan) of St. George; Ken Mele Odette of Washington, D.C., and Sue Ann Odette (Ercel E. Johnson) of Salt Lake City. Also survived by seven grandchildren, Jordan Rae Odette and Carly Ruth Odette of Salt Lake City; Brayden Taylor Odette, Alex Dan Odette, Annie Eliza Odette, Madeleine Mele Odette, and Sophia Rose Odette, all of St. George. One brother, Bert (Mernice) Odette of Monticello, and one sister, Mira (Ray) Bateman of Salt Lake City. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends throughout the state and intermountain west. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Judy Kay Odette and in-laws Salvatore and Rosina Oliveto Mele.
Coach Odette grew up in Monticello and graduated from Monticello High School in 1956. He spent his freshman year of college at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., and graduated from the University of Utah in 1961. He began his coaching career in the early 1960s as an assistant at Judge Memorial High School before taking the head basketball and football coaching positions at his alma mater, Monticello High School. Coach Odette coached the Monticello Buckaroos to the Class-B state football title in 1969, and the runner up in 1970. After nine years in Monticello, he spent a year as head football coach at Jordan High School in Sandy.
In 1972, Coach Odette took over the football program at Snow College in Ephraim for three years, followed by 18 years as head football coach of the Dixie High School Flyers in St. George. Under his guidance and leadership at Dixie, his team placed second in 1976 for the 3A state football championship, other teams he coached reached the playoffs 15 times, and from 1988 to 1991 his teams compiled a 35-7 record. Dad retired from coaching and teaching in 1993, and returned for two seasons in 2000-2001. After his retirement from coaching and until his passing, Coach Odette owned and operated Ideal Distributors & Auto Paint with his son, Ray in St. George. In 2007, Coach Odette received the prestigious National Football Foundation Hall of Fame (Utah Chapter) Outstanding Service to High School Football Coaching Award, which recognized the many years of contributions and efforts he made to Utah football.
Dad has positively affected thousands of students and athletes through his understated and unassumingly subdued style. He proudly mentored many who went on to carry on his influential legacy. As a testament to the man and his character, Dad maintained friendships and contact with a majority of those who have been influenced by his positive leadership, and his passing leaves a void felt by many.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 at 11 a.m. at the St. George Catholic Church, 259 W. 200 N., St. George. Visitation will be held Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010 from 6 to 8 p.m, with a Rosary at 5:30 p.m., at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 West St. George Blvd., St. George. Interment at Tonaquint Cemetery in St. George. Arrangements entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, (435) 673-4221. Please visit our website at www.metcalfmortuary.com for condolences, complete obituary and funeral listings.