1922 - December 17, 2018
Beulah, MI -- Dr. Paul Kenneth Odland died peacefully at his home in Beulah, MI, surrounded by family on December 17th. He was 96 years old. Dr. Odland was a gifted orthopedic surgeon, musician, pilot, sailor, and avid traveler. His wife, Barbara, preceded him in death by 7 years. He is survived by his three children Claire, Blair and Bruce; five grandchildren Michael, Xandra, Jonithan, Maxwell and Jiana; and the companion of his final years, Beverlee Leitz.
Paul Odland was born in 1922 in Yankton, SD, fourth of the five children of Clara and Olin M. Odland. During the Depression, his father, a Lutheran minister, ran a weekly live radio broadcast in which the whole family sang. Paul put himself through Augustana College working in a meat packing plant, and through medical school at the University of South Dakota and Temple University singing in a vocal quartet. He graduated at age 23 from an accelerated wartime program, becoming a Navy doctor on a large aviation tanker, just as WWII was ending. While in med school, he met his wife, Barbara, at a Lutheran ashram. They were married in 1945, and raised their children in Janesville, WI.
During his more than 40 years as an orthopedic surgeon at the Janesville Orthopedic Group and Mercy Hospital, Dr. Odland helped thousands of people. He was the first U.S. doctor to perform total hip operations, pioneered hip surgery techniques, and developed the Odland Ankle, an artificial joint replacement with enhanced range of motion. Many patients traveled long distances to Janesville specifically to have him as their surgeon. Dr. Odland participated in many teaching missions to share modern surgical techniques with doctors in South America and Mexico, and was a founding member of the Pan American Doctors Association. He will be remembered for his skill, his humor, and his dedication to healing the whole person.
His family fondly offers this send off:
Well, you stubborn Norwegian,
loyal husband, provider, companion,
pater of three,
grandpater of five
great pillar of a man upholding not only your generation
but its two begats,
cackling card sharp,
prankster to friends,
fixer of bones,
and gaits and others' pains,
salt of the earth,
pilot of small air and sea craft,
vanishing into the horizon,
you leave a sunlit sky trail and
we will miss you mightily.
With gratitude for all you have been and done and given
and love for you on your next journey
There will be a celebration of his life at his beloved Crystal Lake, MI, in the summer. Donations, in lieu of flowers, can be sent to Crystal Lake Watershed Association (crystallakewatershed.org). To leave a memory of condolence please visit www.bennett-barzfuneralhome.com