Harriet Virginia (Forney) Ody-adoring wife, spectacular mother, affectionate grandmother and great-grandmother, and loyal friend-passed away peacefully at her home in LaSalle, Michigan, surrounded by her loving family, on April 13, 2021, ten days shy of her 88th birthday, after fiercely (and gracefully) battling lymphoma for a decade.
She was born to Richard A. Forney and Hilda I. (Kuebler) Forney on April 23, 1933, in La Porte, Ohio. After graduating from high school, Harriet earned her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Kent State University. There, she met her soulmate and loving husband of 45 years-Dr. Phillip C. Ody, DDS. She later earned her Master's degree in Art Therapy from the University of Toledo.
In her professional life, she was an elementary school teacher in Chicago, Illinois and Columbus, Ohio (where Phil finished his dental school education, specializing in endodontics), and in Toledo (where Phil started his successful dental practice). Together, they built their dream home in Lambertville, Michigan, where they raised their four children: Phillip, Janine, Michael, and Bret. Her passion to teach children never waned, and after her children were grown, she began an in-home preschool. Eventually, she helped raise all of her grandchildren (who affectionately call her "Nonny" and Phil "Papa Ody"), even relocating to Georgia for fifteen years. She loved children with every ounce of her heart.
Harriet took great pleasure in life's simple things. She enjoyed reading autobiographies, playing piano, camping, birdwatching, riding her bike, viewing a sunset, attending baseball games, watching Tiger Woods play golf, catching old reruns of Cheyenne, baking with her grandchildren, attending her children's and grandchildren's school and sporting events, and eating chocolate-she loved sweets. She was a gifted artist, leaving her family with a treasure-trove of her beautiful drawings, paintings, and knitted blankets, hats, and mittens. But she was happiest on Sundays when she could attend services at First Congregational Church in Toledo, Ohio.
Harriet never met a stranger, never said a mean thing about anyone, and never withheld her warm, beautiful smile. She selflessly made everyone feel like family. While she will be profoundly missed by all who were blessed to have known her, she wanted everyone to know the following: "My life has been full, long, and wonderful. During my life, I have tried to be helpful to God, my family, and society. I tried to show compassion and goodwill. I have no prejudices and hold no grudges and have forgiven all. It is a happy person who trusts in the Lord."
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her sisters Dorothy (Forney) Bruner and Marjorie Forney, and her brother Richard Forney. She is survived by her sister Jane (Forney) Dalton.
Nonny and Papa Ody's spirit is carried on by their four children: son Phillip Ody and daughter-in-law Deirdre MacMahon of Los Banos, California; daughter Janine Ody-Miller and son-in-law John Miller of LaSalle, Michigan; son Michael Ody and daughter-in-law Katrina Quicker of Marietta, Georgia; son Bret Ody and daughter-in-law Tricia Staton of Mount Gilead, Ohio; ten grandchildren: Ashley (Ody) Russell and husband Robert Russell, Brooke Ody and fiancée Jay LeRoy, Blake Ody, Garrett Ody, Britton Ody, Maraea Ody, Kensington Ody, Graylon Ody, Jordan Miller and wife Tylar Klemmer-Miller, and Caitlyn Miller-Olmedo and husband Serjen Olmedo; four great-grandchildren: Hayden Russell, Logan Russell, Jensen Russell, and Quinn Miller; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2021 at 1:00 PM at Wakeman Cemetery.
In Harriet's memory, donations may be made to the National Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy, or any charity that seeks to spread love and God's love.
"O Bless Me Now, My Savior, I Come To Thee."
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