- Deceased's name: Anna Joyce Odgaard
Anna Odgaard, 61, of Iowa City, died Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at her home in Iowa City.
Funeral services will begin Friday at 2:30 pm at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Iowa City. Pastor Kyle Otterbein will officiate. Burial will follow at Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City. The family will greet friends Friday at the church from 10:30 am until service time. Instead of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorials be directed to the Anna Odgaard Memorial Fund.
Anna was born in Chicago in 1951, the daughter of John and Nell Rogers. She grew up being a very active girl participating in sports of all kinds, including horse back riding, downhill skiing, and sky diving. While attending Lake Forrest College, she won several scholarships, some of which included traveling. One of her travels took her to Denmark, where she studied at Copenhagen University. She fell in love with Denmark, and returned several times over the following years.
In 1974 she obtained residency in Denmark and started teaching English and Danish at several language schools in Copenhagen. It was at one of them she met Jacob. They got engaged in 1977.
Shortly after, in late 1977 she went with Jacob to Iowa. Jacob had gotten a one-year assignment at University of Iowa, after which the plan was to return to Denmark. They stayed at Iowa and married in Chicago in 1978.
They had two children, Peter born in 1981 and Christel born in 1987. She loved them more than anything. For several years she homeschooled them. And she spent countless hours on the road taking them to activities, Christel to dance and gymnastics, Peter to soccer, tennis, and viola. During that time she also perfected her cross stitch and needlepoint. Testimonies to that are all over the house. The walls of the house are a lasting legacy of hers!
While raising Peter and Christel, she continued her teaching. Her favorite class was English as a Second Language, which she taught through Kirkwood. Through Kirkwood she also taught several cooking classes. She was a fabulous cook.
Medicine was another one of her interests; she could often make a diagnosis earlier than the physician and come up with a fairly accurate treatment. She enjoyed reading the Physicians Reference Manual and perusing the latest editions of WebMD.
Anna loved traveling. She loved Europe and toured almost all European countries. In addition to Danish, she was fluent in French. She loved to study languages. Before traveling to a country she would always get a stack of books and tapes on the country and spend days studying and practicing, and would make an effort to learn at least the basic phrases. Being an outgoing person, she would always try to strike up conversations with the locals, whether it was the taxi driver, the maid who made up the hotel room, or the clerk in the shopping mall. Many of those conversations she remembered for many years later. She could recall every detail of the conversations.
Arts and history were also among her top favorites. European arts and history in particular. And Russian. Her fascination with Russian arts and history culminated last summer when she went on a cruise trip together with Jacob from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
Two years ago, she traveled to Singapore together with Jacob, who attended a conference there. After a one-week stopover in Hawaii, they arrived in Singapore just in time for New Years celebrations. She enjoyed Singapore so much that two years later, on December 18, 2012 the day after having received three blood transfusions to get her hemoglobin count up near the normal range, she decided that she and Jacob should spend Christmas in Singapore. Even though it was a challenging one Anna made the trip and again enjoyed the city. On the way back from Singapore they stopped over in Maui and spent a week at the hotel where they 34 years ago also had spent a week on their honeymoon.
The last few years, Anna’s focus was on Making Memories. Despite her failing health. She made memories for Peter and Christel by taking them on several trips to Europe, Puerto Rico and Mexico. And she made memories for Jacob on their many joint trips to Europe, to Singapore and to Russia.
She was preceded in death by her parents Nell and John Rogers and is survived by her husband Jacob and daughter Christel Odgaard and son Peter Odgaard (fiancée Tanya Edmond) and her aunt Mary-Jane Hubbard.