Thresa Jean O'Dell

August 18, 1926 - January 11, 2020

Thresa Jean (Melton) O’Dell, age 93, fought the good fight for the last time on Saturday, January 11, 2020, as a quiet snow fell and the red birds gathered outside her window. She was born on August 18, 1926, in Celina, Texas, to Alta Tennessee (Helms) and Claude C. Melton. Thresa married the love of her life, Ralph Lafaytte O’Dell, in Denton, Texas, on June 13, 1943, and they were blessed with three children.

Thresa was the ultimate homemaker: cooking, sewing, using her green thumb to grow many flowers and plants. After her children were raised, she worked at The Bridal Shop and Dillard’s in Waco, Texas. Thresa was a member of First United Methodist Church, Celina, and volunteered many years with Methodist Women’s Society, PTAs in Dallas, Temple, Lubbock and Celina Fidelis Inter Se Club. She also spent many hours with her sisters playing cards-mainly Hand & Foot. Thresa never forgot anyone’s birthday or anniversary-sending cards to friends and family year after year. She loved her grandchildren, making sure they were well fed and the door was always open for their friends. Thresa was a very humble & genteel woman but also quick witted and knew just when to fill the room with laughter many times with a funny face or snappy comeback! She is described by many as kind, sweet, gracious, a saint, and a true Southern lady. To know her was to love her and in turn be loved by her. Thresa will be dearly missed.

Thresa is survived by her husband, Ralph O’Dell; daughters, Pam Allison and husband, Rob, of Lubbock, Texas, and Sandra Coffey and husband, Roger, of Dodd City, Texas; son, Chipper O’Dell of Waxahachie, Texas; grandchildren, Matt Allison, Daniel O’Dell, Jason (Emily) Callahan, Mandy (Josh) Brewster, Hope O’Dell, and Joshua (Anna) Callahan; step-grandchildren, Roger Coffey Jr. and Brittany (Chris) Sweeney; great-grandchildren, Dylan, Kali, Noah, Emerson, Jennings, CJ and Bennett; sisters, Maurine Miller, Dauriece Perry, Marjorie Kelly, Barbara George; brothers-in-law, Ken (Claudette) O’Dell and Bob (Ruby) White; as well as numerous loving cousins, nieces, and nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Claude and Alta Melton; step-grandson, Clay Coffey; and sisters, Nellie Hawn and Mary Jo McCarty. 

The family invites friends to a visitation at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow, 109 South Oklahoma, Celina, Texas, on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, from 6:00-8:00 pm. Funeral service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 12465 FM 428, Celina, Texas, on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at 10:30 am, with Reverend John Baldwin officiating. Interment follows at Cottage Hill Cemetery in Celina.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to:           

  • First United Methodist Church Celina
  • 12465 FM 428
  • Celina, Texas 75009


  • Inter Se Club Celina
  • c/o Bobbie Mills
  • 8900 Glen Garden
  • McKinney, Texas 75072

OR your favorite charity.

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Deepest sympathy, so very sorry for your loss. Keeping all family in my thoughts and prayers.
Deborah Callahan, January 21, 2020 Praying for your entire family that God will be ever so close to you and comfort you and give you peace. Blessed to have such a sweet woman in your lives. Praise God for that.
Russell and Jackie Stocks, January 15, 2020 When I think of her, my mind goes to the kitchen in the oak cliff house when we were kids, it was always filled with something good to eat, she was a very sweet woman and a blessing to her family.
Mike Shelby, January 15, 2020 So sorry for your families loss. Prayers to all. Cindy Nicholson Dodson, January 15, 2020 Pam, Pete and I send our love and condolences to you and your family.
Judy Braun, January 15, 2020 A true lady! She will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers to her loving family. Buddy and Doreen Tascone, January 15, 2020 Anytime is too soon to lose your mom...but look at her legacy! Joy filled Pam and Mandy and Matt. Good job!!! Go to your reward!!! kwallisalley@outlook.com, January 15, 2020 So very sorry for the loss of this amazing woman! Pat McClure, January 14, 2020 Thresa was a very special lady and will be missed by many. We pray for peace and comfort during this time. Our Love and Hugs to each of you.
Mike and Charlie Norman, January 14, 2020 Our deepest sympathies to you and the family. God be with you as you grieve. We pray that your grief will soon be changed into sweet, sweet memories of this beautiful lady. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Randy and Mary Lee , January 14, 2020 So sorry we will not be able to say goodbye to Aunt Thresa. We had a good visit with her at the reunion and will keep our conversation close to our hearts, What a gracious and lovely lady! Jim and Connie Hafer, January 13, 2020