We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Everly Funeral Home & Cremation Service
A giver of love and knowledge, Garnet “Gigi” Marie Fike Odell, 94, formerly of Washington, DC and Columbia, SC, passed away on Friday, June 10, 2022, at Sunrise Assisted Living in Falls Church, VA. Born on December 6, 1927, in Uniontown, PA, Gigi lived and worked in New York City for a brief time, and spent the rest of her professional career as a civilian serving at the Pentagon, where she met her adored husband and love of her life, Robert Elsmere Odell, (SC). Upon Bob’s retirement from the U.S. Department of Defense (DARCOM), they moved to Columbia, SC.
Throughout the course of their marriage, Gigi and Bob, as they were known by all, sought to bring happiness and kindness to friend and stranger alike. Local children and adults who were lucky enough to encounter them at Christmastime, when they lovingly dressed in character, could have no doubt that there really was a Santa and Mrs. Claus. Gigi was muse, companion, and crucial co-conspirator in Bob’s artistic pursuits— be it in creating exquisite miniature soldier sculptures, portrait paintings, or stunning nature photography, especially of cats and flowers. Family memories of Gigi and her sister Fran chatting and giggling into the night about (but not limited to) history, politics, science, space exploration, and archaeology continue to bring smiles. Gigi’s beauty, wit, charity and intelligence remained with her until the last.
In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her parents Herbert Norman Fike and Alice Brill Fike Nycum, (PA); sister Frances M. McCaffrey and husband Col. John E. McCaffrey, (VA); brother-in-law Gen. John S. Wieringa (SC); sister-in-law Mary Odell Jackson and husband Eli Jackson (KY); and niece Irene LaSalle Jackson Howard (KY).
Survivors include her niece, Jo Anne McCaffrey Busnardo and husband José, (Brazil); niece Diana A. McCaffrey and husband David B. Rivkin, (VA); nephew John E. McCaffrey Jr., (VA); nephew Kevin R. McCaffrey and wife Roberta, (FL); two great nieces Alice Busnardo, (Brazil) and Diana F. McCaffrey, (FL); and two great nephews Joao Busnardo, (Brazil) and Taylor McCaffrey, (VA); sister-in-law Barbara Wieringa, (SC); niece and namesake Gigi Wieringa, (SC); nephew John Wieringa (OH); niece Wendy Million (VA); niece Robin Jackson (SC); niece Emily “Boo” Collins (SC); nephew Eli Jackson (KY); niece Becky Edwins (KY); dear friends Irene Alda Cedras (SC) and Hattie Gause (SC); and several great great nieces and nephews and other devoted family members, friends and neighbors.
In lieu of flowers, and in honor of the many homeless cats Gigi and Bob adopted over the years, memorial donations may be made to The Humane Society of South Carolina ( https://humanesc.org/). Tributes to Gigi and expressions of sympathy for the family may be left at Everly Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Falls Church, VA.
The Humane Society of South Carolina