Sterling Otis “Odie” Thomas

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Sterling Otis “Odie” Thomas, 61, passed away at his home on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, after a battle with cancer. He was born on June 29, 1961, in Nevada, Mo., to Sterling Eugene “Gene” and Sandra “Sandy” (Havens) Thomas. Odie married Tami Arnold on July 5, 1991, and they raised three children: Heather, Taylor, and Colten.

Odie loved spending time with his children, whether that was watching them play basketball, going to the lake, or competing in a 3D bow shoot. Odie became passionate in teaching youth shooting sports. He volunteered as a 4-H shooting sports coach for 17 years, long after his children were done with the sport and even got the honor to coach his granddaughter. Odie coached small bore, archery, and shot gun.

Odie graduated from Nevada High School in 1980. He then lived in California for several years before returning to Milo. He had worked for NOW Structures for the past 30 years.

Survivors include his children, Heather Marie Thomas, Bentonville, Ark., Taylor Michelle Dilly (Devin), Nevada, Mo., and Sterling Colton Thomas (Chalene), Nevada, Mo.; his mother, Sandy Thomas, of the home in Milo, Mo.; his sister, Bonnie McConnaughy, Spring Hill, Kan.; grandchildren, Abigail Dilly, Theodore Dilly, and Stella Thomas; nieces, nephews, extended family, and many special friends. Odie was preceded in death by his father, Gene Thomas; brother-in-law, Dan McConnaughy; uncle, Bob Kimzey; and cousins, Rob Kimzey and Mary Jo Bley McCown-Riddle.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Ferry Funeral Home, with Pastor Terry Mosher officiating. The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m., prior to the service. Interment will be in Moore Cemetery, Nevada.

Memorials are suggested to Vernon County 4-H Shooting Sports or Vernon County Cancer Relief and may be made in in care of Ferry Funeral Home.