Ernest V. Oden, 77, died peacefully on Saturday, July 11, 2015. Mr. Oden was born on April 11, 1938, in Zionsville, to Donovan and Margaret Oden.
A gifted athlete, he earned a basketball scholarship to Atlantic Christian College in North Carolina and he remained extraordinarily grateful for the financial support that made it possible for him to attend college. He graduated with a degree in Education in 1961.
That same year, Mr. Oden married his college sweetheart and the love of his life, Judy Collins. They moved to Indiana in 1962 and he took a position as a teacher and coach at Mt. Vernon High School that blended his dual interests in sports and education. He taught history and coached golf, track, basketball, baseball and he became athletic director in 1972.
Mr. Oden devoted his life to high school athletics and believed strongly in teaching the values of respect, loyalty and sportsmanship. He coached and taught thousands of student athletes through the years before retiring in1999.
Beyond high school athletics, he loved the New York Yankees and the IU Hoosiers. Golf was among his favorite hobbies, and he pursued it happily in retirement.
Mr. Oden is survived by his daughter, Lee Ann (Tom) Vriesman; his son, David (Rachel) Oden; sister, Patricia Hess; partner, Pam Jackson and grandchildren, Emily and Zoe Vriesman and Caffrey, Ella and Maya Oden.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Judy; siblings, Frances Minteer, Donald Oden, Keith Oden, Marjorie Harris and Russell Oden and granddaughter, Ali Elizabeth Vriesman.
A funeral service will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at the First United Methodist Church, 125 Staat Street, Fortville, IN with burial to follow at Gravel Lawn Cemetery, Fortville.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation, 1776 West State Road 234, Fortville, IN 46040.