ODEN, Jane (Hazlitt)
Jane Oden, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, revered friend and respected advocate for the poor, imprisoned and hungry, passed away Sunday, June 22. She was 76. Rebecca Jane Hazlitt was born in Garden City, Kan., in the depth of the Great Depression, the daughter of John M. Hazlitt and Mary Blanche Hightower Hazlitt. Her family moved to southern Illinois for several years before returning to Pauls Valley where she graduated from high school. Jane attended Oklahoma College for Women and the University of Oklahoma, earning a degree in Early Childhood Education. While at OU Jane married Tal Oden, a law school student, in 1951. After graduation they moved to Altus, TalÆs birthplace, where he practiced law and they raised four children. Jane valued her own roots in Altus as her great-grandparents, the Hightowers and Allens, were among its early settlers in the late 1880s. Jane taught kindergarten for Grace Methodist Day School and later was office assistant for Tal Oden Law Office until her retirement in 2000. * Jane immersed herself in church and community life through Grace United Methodist Church ministries, United Methodist Women, the Salvation Army Board, creation of Jackson County Memorial Hospital Hospice, Associated Christian Ministries Inc. (ACMI), Jackson County Democratic Women, and her special passion for Threshold Services, a ministry that helps women inmates find footing and independence as productive citizens in the community. Her heart for activism kept Jane lobbying legislators and influentials by letter, phone, e-mail and personal intervention for Bread for the World, a national citizenÆs lobby for eradicating hunger; for Heifer International, a program that helps third-world families gain self-sustenance with gifts of livestock; and for elimination of the death penalty. Earlier Jane served on the Oklahoma Endowment for the Humanities, helped establish the Shortgrass Arts & Humanities Council in Altus, served on the Post Adjudicative Review Board for children under court supervision, was active in the Gamma Mothers Club, Class Parents, Main Street Altus, the Western Trail Historical Society, the MacDowell Club of Allied Art and was a member in Chapter GQ of P.E.O. Jane is survived by her husband Tal Oden of the home in Altus; son Tal and wife Janet Oden and son Tim and wife Susan Oden of Oklahoma City; daughter Amy Oden and husband Perry Williams of Riverdale, Md.; and son Andy and wife Adrienne Oden of Edmond; by her brothers John M. Hazlitt of Estes Park, Colo., and the Rev. Joseph A. Hazlitt of Wynnewood; and by grandchildren Ryan, Drew, Ryan, Austin, Tuck, Sarah, Walker, Avery, Emerson and Bennett. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church of Altus, celebrated with the leadership of Oklahoma United Methodist Bishop Robert Hayes, the Rev. David Player and the Rev. George Lupton, under the direction of Lowell-Tims Funeral Home with interment at the Altus Cemetery.