On Friday morning, January 17, 2020, God called his beloved servant, Odessa H. Darden to eternal rest. Odessa was born on July 17, 1927 to the late Charlie and Mamie Hamlin in Leaksville, NC. She was the third of six children. She was predeceased by her siblings: Beatrice Anthony, Claudius Hamlin, Vessie Jones, Yvonne Minor and Catherine Williams; daughter, Veronica "Ronnie" Freeman and son-in-law, Nathaniel "Bobby" Freeman.
After relocating to Norfolk, VA with her family, Odessa completed her secondary education at Booker T Washington High School and later earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education at Norfolk State College (now University). She was an employee of Chesapeake Public Schools as an elementary school teacher where she retired after more than 20 years of service.
Odessa was previously married to Julius C. Darden, Sr. and from this union two children were born. She loved her family and friends and her home was always open for many family gatherings. Odessa loved to read, travel, and some of her favorite past-times were playing solitaire and solving crossword puzzles and word search.
Odessa accepted Christ at an early age. She was a member of St. Paul CME Church, Norfolk, VA, where she served for over 65 years., Because of her love for God and her church, she was a faithful member and served in many ministries. Much of her love and work for the Lord involved being a member of the Senior Choir and the Stewardess Board. She was also a member of Forever Young Through Faith and Fun, a group for seniors in the church.
Odessa's precious memories will linger in the hearts of her son, Julius C. "Butch" Darden, Jr. ; three grandchildren: Natalie Stell, Justin Darden and Kelli Bailey(Dexter); three great-grandchildren: Kennedy Stell, Glen Stell and Jaxon Bailey; daughter-in-law, Carol Darden, and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Public viewing will be on the day of her funeral Friday, Jan. 24th, , 10:00 am @ St. Paul CME Church located 310 E. Virginia Beach Blvd. Norfolk, VA
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