Cover photo for Donna Lyn Odem's Obituary
Donna Lyn Odem Profile Photo
1949 Donna Lyn 2024

Donna Lyn Odem

May 1, 1949 — February 9, 2024


Donna Lyn Hatch Odem, 74, of Smithville, Texas, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on February 9, 2024 with family at her side. A Visitation will be held on Thursday, February 15, 2024 from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM located at Marrs Jones Newby Funeral Home, 505 Old Austin Highway, Bastrop, Texas, 78602. A Celebration of Life service will be held in memory of her on Friday, February 16, 2024 at 12 PM located at the Funeral Home, with a Gathering of Family and Friends held prior to services at 11:00 AM.

Donna was the oldest of two children born to the late Peggy Pauleen (Baxter) Hatch and Don Hatch. She entered this world on May 1, 1949, in Plainview, Texas. Three years later, her younger brother Ken joined the family. 

Donna and her younger brother, Ken, were in elementary school when their parents moved to Dalhart, Texas, and opened a hardware store. Donna spent the rest of her childhood years in Dalhart where she and her brother became a part of her parents' store. Dalhart was also the place where the lake provided fresh fish for regular cook-offs and fish fries. But most unique about Donna's childhood was the fact that she was able to grow up with both sets of grandparents who lived in Dalhart. 

After high school, Donna attended and graduated from Northwest Texas Hospital School of Nursing in Amarillo, Texas completing her goal to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). She then moved to Colorado and worked for two years before moving to Austin, Texas where she continued her RN career at St. David Hospital and then at Seton Hospital where she worked for 30 years before retiring. 

It was while working at St. David's hospital in Austin, Texas that she met a young man named James Gunther Odem, who had moved back to Austin after having completed honorable military duty and who was also working at St. David's. Donna, who had accepted Christ at an early age and been baptized felt a yearning to know more about Jesus after she met this young Christian man. James said, "Donna, told me she asked God to send her a Christian husband, and I feel honored that she chose me". They began dating and studying the bible together in 1976. As she studied with James, Donna discovered Bible truths she had never known, which among others included healthful eating, the 7th Day Sabbath, and God's word that he will return to this earth, and the dead who die in him will be raised from death to eternal life. Having added more knowledge, to the faith she had experienced as a child in her parents' home, Donna was baptized into the Alpha Seventh-Day Adventist Church, in Austin, Texas in 1977. 

On December 31, 1978, she and James were married. With this union a blended family of two boys was added: James (J.J.) Knox, and Joel Odem. They were then blessed by God with two more sons; Seth Odem, and Jared Odem. From these four boys, their family would eventually welcome grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Donna and James served faithfully at Alpha Seventh-Day Adventist church until they were called to a place where their talents were needed more in 1991. That place was Bastrop, where they helped found and build the Bastrop Seventh-Day Adventist Church where her husband served as an ordained Elder. Donna served her church in several positions over the years; namely as Church Treasurer, Deaconess, and Prison Ministries team member, and always as her husband's partner and assistant in missionary projects. She would willingly prepare food for their many trips to Odessa, Texas with James' mother, Dorcas, to give Bible Studies. 

Her greatest joy in Christian service, however, was her work with James, her husband in establishing the Cornerstone Bible school in Rosanky, Texas. She served as children's teacher while her husband, James and several other church volunteers led out in Bible Study. 

She was blessed to enjoy the recent December visit of Jessica, one of their former bible students who came back from California to be baptized at their Bastrop church. 

Donna was a loving wife and mother who diligently looked after her household. She loved cooking and was an excellent cook. Her family looked and ate well every day! But holidays ... those were for this wife and mother! She was an accomplished seamstress and quilter. Little known among her skills, however, was the fact that she was also an artist. Her works are among her family's prized possessions. 

A moment frozen in time for her and for her husband will be the happy celebration of their 45th wedding anniversary. The next morning after the intimate celebration, she suddenly whispered to Sandra, her sister-in-law, who was ministering to her at the time, "I enjoyed the party." She was well-loved by her family and friends. Her memories and the gifts she left during her life are cherished. As we adjust and move through the grief of love, our hope is in Jesus, our comfort is in His everlasting love and our trust is in His faithfulness.

 Donna is reunited in Heaven with her parents; Peggy and Don Hatch, paternal grandparents; Irma and Reginald Hatch, and maternal grandparents; Carrie and Charles Baxter. 

To cherish her memories are her husband of 45 years, James Odem, of Smithville, Texas, her boys; Seth Odem, Leander, Texas, Jared Odem, of Smithville, Texas, James Knox of Austin, Texas and Joel Odem of Pflugerville, Texas; her brother, Ken Hatch (Marijo) of Dalhart, Texas, Sister and brother-in-law; Sandra Hawkins of Montgomery, Alabama; Danny Calvert (Donna) of Huntsville, Alabama, 

9 grandchildren,1 great-grandchild; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, friends, and church brothers and sisters. 

The Family would like to especially thank

Niece and Nephew Katrina and Tony Robinson 

Hospice Compassus of Austin, Texas 

Caregivers Chris and Fefe 

Bastrop Seventh-day Adventist Church 

Special Friends Pastor & Mrs. Fred and Toni Snell

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donna Lyn Odem, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 15, 2024

1:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Marrs-Jones-Newby Funeral Home

505 Old Austin Hwy, Bastrop, TX 78602

Family will greet guests from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Gathering of Family and Friends

Friday, February 16, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Marrs-Jones-Newby Funeral Home

505 Old Austin Hwy, Bastrop, TX 78602

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Friday, February 16, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Marrs-Jones-Newby Funeral Home

505 Old Austin Hwy, Bastrop, TX 78602

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Friday, February 16, 2024

Following Chapel Services

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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