Jane Harris Odom

Jane Harris Odom (age 61) died peacefully at home in Alexandria, Virginia. She was the daughter of Ashton Harris Odom, Sr., and Nancy Sanders Odom and grew up in Bennettsville, SC. She earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in History from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Early in her career Jane worked as an assistant archivist at Winthrop University and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1985 she moved to Washington, DC, where she worked as an archivist at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. From 1987 to 1999, she worked as an archivist on the congressional staffs of nine different House and Senate Members of Congress, including former senators Ted Stevens, Lloyd Bentsen, and Bill Cohen and former Representatives Bob Michael and Lindy Boggs, among others. For seventeen years, 1999-2016, Jane served as Chief Archivist at the History Office of NASA Headquarters where she won awards for her exceptional performance. Jane was a life-long Methodist and a long-time member of Fairlington United Methodist Church in Alexandria. She loved a wide variety of music, vacationing at the beach, researching her family history, and growing flowers and plants. Memorial contributions may be sent to Fairlington United Methodist Church, 3900 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302.
A memorial service for Jane will be held at Fairlington United Methodist Church on Friday, July 19, at 3:00pm. Following the service, there will be a reception in the Fellowship Hall.

33 Responses to Jane Harris Odom

  1. Amy E. Thomas (Phil) says:

    Jane was a great person that I dearly loved. We grew up together in Bennettsville, SC, attended Bennettsville High School, and attended First United Methodist Church together where we went to Sunday School, church, sang in choirs, and attended MYF. We were friends who could count on each other. I visited Jane her freshman year at Winthrop, and I knew after that weekend that I would attend Winthrop because she showed me such a wonderful time. My husband and I visited Jane in Alexandria, Virginia one weekend while delivering some of her deceased mother’s furniture. She and her roommate, Connie, took us sightseeing and to dinner while there. Even though we didn’t see each other very often and were many miles apart, I still felt we had a special bond. Jane was still a hometown girl that didn’t let city life change her. I will miss Jane, but I know I will see her again some day in heaven. Rest well my friend!

  2. Pam Covington says:

    Rest in peace my dear friend since childhood! You are now free of all of the things associated with your illness. Although your health hasn’t been great, we kept our friendship alive through long phone conversations! I will cherish the memories we have shared. I love and miss you! I will see you again!

  3. Lynne Dudley Stevenson says:

    Jane was a very sweet and loving person who went to the same church I did when I was a young child. She used to help out with the chidren’s choirs and I remember her always smiling and being very nice to me. I am so sorry to hear she has passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. Rest In Peace, Dear Jane. Your time on Earth is over and you have found your perfect peace resting for eternity in Jesus” loving arms.

  4. Bracky and Martha Sanders says:

    So sorry to hear about Jane’s death. She has battled that terrible disease of cancer for a few years. Jane and I were cousins and although we didn’t see each other often, we did communicate some. We saw each other occasionally when she was in Bennettsville. She will be missed. So glad her body is cancer free now. Prayers for her family and friends.

  5. Tammy Gathings says:

    Jane and I were inseparable in high school, where one was the other was. We worked on the high school annual together and shared so many secrets. We went to the same church and sang in the choirs together. She had a heart of gold. The world will not be the same without her.

  6. Diane Starnes says:

    My deepest sympathy to family and friends of my friend Jane.

  7. Beth Dickey says:

    You were an inspiration and a role model, Jane, and you’ve left a big hole in our hearts. Remembering you fondly, wishing you joy in the next life, and praying for strength for your family and friends.

  8. Carol Ann Stegall Lentz says:

    Jane and I were friends from grade school thru high school. We lived very close to each other therefore we spent many days running between houses. I remember staying overnight in her backyard in a tent. We thought we were grown up then. Although we lost touch after school, I will always remember the laughing and fun times we had as children. Rest now my friend…well done.

  9. Roger D. Launius says:

    I worked with Jane at NASA between 1999 and 2002 while I was NASA Chief Historian. She was joy to be around and a person that I relied on for counsel and guidance. My thoughts are with all of her loved ones and for Jane, happy trails.

  10. Barbara DeAntonio Love says:

    Jane was my roommate when I was in law school at UNC and she was working as an archivist there. I was so sorry to hear of her passing. She was such a kind, sweet lady, with a beautiful smile and a big heart. Although we lost touch over the years, I have such very good memories of our friendship. My condolences and prayers go out to Jane’s family and friends.

  11. Colleen Mason says:

    I knew Jane for just a short while, during the time leading up to her retirement and afterward. But I had known of her for much longer, because I heard so much about her when I went to work as a Congressional archivist in the 1990s. She really was a pioneer in that field, one of very few. We shared a few lunches as we discussed jobs and retirement, and then I visited her in the hospital once she became sick. She was a lovely person, and I’m so sorry to hear about her death. A very untimely death, as she didn’t have nearly enough time to enjoy retirement. My deepest condolences to all her family, friends, and loved ones.

  12. Toby Siegel Costanzo says:

    Jane and I interfaced through our years at NASA HQ. Always smart and efficient, and such a pleasure to know. My sincere sympathy and prayers are sent to her family and friends. May Jane Rest In Peace always. Toby Siegel Costanzo

  13. Kimberly Jenkins-Snodgrass says:

    For many years Jane sat across from me while working at NASA Headquarters. She often complained I was too noisy. Our common zone was our love for the North Carolina Tar Heel…Jane loved college basketball. When Jane’s mother passed away she gave me a beautiful picture that hangs in my kitchen today. Rest in Heaven Jane!

  14. Paula Geisz says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Jane for many years at NASA, she was always upbeat with kind words, smiles, and helpful assistance. May she Rest In Peace. Condolences to her family and friends.

  15. Sheva Moore says:

    I met Jane while working at NASA Headquarters. She was always friendly and pleasant. I am saddened to hear of her passing. She was a good person. May the grace of God comfort her family, friends and all who love and knew her.
    No longer bound by the pain and cares of this world. Her spirit is free. Rest in Peace Jane.

  16. Tawana Clary says:

    I worked with Jane during my years at NASA and I always loved talking with her. She was helpful and was always smiling. She was one of the very best people to work with. May The Lord Jesus Christ take of the family and friends.

  17. Andres Almeida says:

    Jane made me feel welcome and appreciated, but that was in her nature to do so. When she retired, I acquired her computer monitor. On it is a fortune cookie message that she had taped on the top left corner that reads: “You will have good luck and overcome many hardships.” I believe it’s her optimistic spirit that allowed her to see the sun shine for as long as she did. We’ll forever miss Jane.

  18. Donna Ellis says:

    I knew Jane through her roommate, Connie. She was always upbeat in spite of her health struggles in the last few years. When I think of Jane, this is the image that is embedded in my mind: Jane, the sophisticated Congressional archivist, standing on a Washington DC corner near the Senate Office Buildings, swinging a salmon that Ted Stevens had brought her from Alaska. Always makes me smile. RIP Jane and prayers of condolence to her family and friends.

  19. Stephen Ballard, Office External Relations, Retired says:

    Jane was a terrific person to work with when seeking historical information and always more than willing to exert extra effort when researching both notable and little known NASA activities. She also was a great asset at official functions involving NASA’s domestic and international partners. She will be missed.

  20. Gail Gabourel says:

    I worked with Jane at NASA for many years. I remember Jane as a very nice person who always greeted me with a smile and ready to help in any way she could. She will be missed by her family and friends I am sure. I send my sincere condolences and prayers to her family and friends. Blessings.

  21. Diane Maxwell Frazier says:

    Godspeed, sweet Jane! I have no doubt there is a lot of interesting history waiting to be archived in Heaven and you will show them how it’s done! Prayers and lots of love to your family and many friends…we are all hurting over the loss of you kind, gentle spirit among us.

  22. Cheryl Thomas says:

    I am very saddened to hear of Jane’s passing. I knew Jane while I was working at NASA HQ from 2009 to 2012 as the Senior Career Counselor. I will always remember how kind and generous she was to me offering all kinds of information and assistance as I learned about NASA and its employees. It is a real loss for all of us to lose such a kind and gentle spirit and much too soon! My deep felt condolences to all her friends and family.

  23. Dale McLeod says:

    Our hearts are broken over Jane’s passing. Jane was a sweet cousin. We always looked forward to times when our families shared visits and holiday gatherings. It was special to keep in touch with Jane over the years. She so enjoyed her work and the people with whom she worked. It was great to see Jane on a trip to Washington! We enjoyed dinner together, and she graciously showed us around NASA headquarters. Her love for her work was evident!
    Jane spoke of the support of her church members as she bravely battled a very aggressive cancer. She coveted prayers, rested in her faith, and was always hopeful! She was a big “Snoopy” fan and retained her fun sense of humor through it all!
    Jane was a blessing in our lives!

  24. Patty Hutchinson says:

    Very, very sad news indeed. May Jane’s friends and family find comfort in their memories of this special lady. And may she rest in peace.

  25. Dave Herbek; Office of Space Flight (Ret) says:

    Sincere Condolences to Jane’s family and close friends.

    I worked with Jane at NASA Hqtrs. She was a consumate professional, always a pleasure to work with and a wonderful NASA team mate.

  26. April Gage says:

    I worked with Jane from 2004-2016 as a center archivist. She was our chief archivist but liked to call herself the chief bottle washer instead. Jane took me under her wing as a professional mentor and became a role model and dear friend. Her sunny disposition and perpetual optimism was an inspiration. I have so many happy memories of Jane. No matter what was going on in our lives we always found things to laugh about. What a wonderful woman and true blue friend. My thoughts are with her loved ones. Take care.

  27. Sharon Lord says:

    The two memories I have of Jane is how helpful she was when I worked in the Exhibits Office at NASA. I was always asking her questions at the last minute for captions that she had to research. She would just smile and minutes later she would have the answers. The other great memory is when we decided to retire. She retired in May 2016 and I retired in June. Jane would come in my office with a count down on how many days left to retire and we would just laugh. Keep on laughing Jane.

  28. Kathleen Murphy says:

    Jane has been such a good friend to many of us at NASA over the years, always full of warmth, kindness and genuine interest in others. I know that our “lunch bunch” will continue to miss her dearly and share recollections of her humor and thoughtfulness. Truly the angels are welcoming a treasure — and I am bereft — but my memories of her will shine.

  29. Lisa Hackley says:

    My deepest sympathy and condolences to the Odom Family, I worked with Jane at NASA Headquarters, Jane always had a bubbly personality and smiling whenever I saw here, she would stop and chat and we would just laugh, she had a wonderful spirit, I remember when she was getting ready to retire, she was above the clouds. I know you will be truly missed by your friends and family. Friends and family keep Jane’s memories close to your heart always.

  30. Carol Cordova says:

    I will always remember and love Jane for her sunny, sweet spirit and sense of humor. I admire the way she kept her optimism and faith despite her illness. I will cherish the memories of our days at NASA with the “lunch bunch” in the Columbia Cafe and on the roof. Rest well, my friend, and may peace be with you.

  31. David Schuman says:

    Jane was an absolutely wonderful person and outstanding archivist/historian. I had the privilege of working with her during a detail from Goddard Space Flight Center to NASA Headquarters. She was deeply interested in preserving Goddard’s history and was instrumental in our efforts to hire a full time archivist and historian. This a lasting contribution to the history of this great Agency.

  32. J.T. Jezierski says:

    Jane was a joy and shining light to everyone she met. Her professionalism and love for her work made her a wonderful person to work with. May she be at peace in knowing that she became an integral part of the history she worked so hard to preserve at NASA. She will be missed.

  33. Maureen Muncy says:

    I met Jane when we worked together at NASA. No matter how odd the request, Jane always came through with the answer! I came to admire her intelligence and sense of humor. Sweet, sunny, hard working and kind, she was a wonderful person who made your day brighter if she was in it. My heart goes out to all her family and friends. May she rest in peace with the Lord she loved.

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