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image of Anita O'Dell
Anita O’Dell

Anita O’Dell, a staff member in Facilities Services, passed away suddenly February 12. She was 48.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, February 21, at the Facilities Services Complex, 2040 Sutherland Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921.

O’Dell joined the Building Services team in July 2017. She graduated from the university’s Cleaning Certification Program, was extremely proud of her work, and was always willing to help anyone. She said she never met a stranger.

First and foremost in her life was always her family. Upon graduation from high school she was offered a basketball scholarship to Vanderbilt University, but turned it down to be with her family.

O’Dell is survived by her husband, Tim; daughter, Jennifer (Andrew) Leek; son, Shawn; and four grandchildren, Jeremy, Kayleigh, Chloe, and Trenton.

In memory of Anita O’Dell, Building Services Assistant Director Gordon Nelson is collecting donations for her family. Nelson can be contacted at 865-974-5107 or