Odiela Darliss Laib, 78, McClusky, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at home, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Odiela was born on Sept. 19, 1935, the third child of 13 children of William and Melita (Anhorn) Mertz. She was baptized on Nov. 17, 1935, at St. Jacobus Lutheran Church, north of Goodrich. She attended elementary school and graduated from eighth grade in 1949, at a rural country school in Mertz Township. Odiela was confirmed on June 4, 1950, at Zion Lutheran Church in Denhoff. Following school, Odiela worked for five years at Hansen's Cash Store in Denhoff.
On Nov. 23, 1955, she married her lifelong partner, Elmer Laib, at Mercer. In 1956 they began farming southwest of McClusky. In 1957, they moved to a farm south of McClusky. Here they expanded their farming operation while raising their six children. In 1966, they had the first all electric heat home in the rural Capital Electric Cooperative area, and in 1972, they were selected as the Sheridan County Conservation Award winners.
They had toured the United States, fished in Canada, and got pottery from Mexico. A great passion of Odiela's was the collection of glassware, such as Fenton, Hull, McCoy, Shawnee, Frankoma, Bavarian, Depression, Royal Copley, and Lefton, and many musical metal pieces. In 1993, Elmer and Odiela purchased the R & H Motel in McClusky. They expanded the operation in the ensuing years to include a bait shop and trailer park. They established many lifelong friendships with many of their seasonal customers.
Odiela was a secretary for Lutheran Brotherhood from 1983 to 1993 with Erwin Neuharth. She researched and put together the genealogy of eight generations of the Laib ancestry. Odiela's interests and hobbies included card playing, fishing and visiting. Her greatest joys in her life were her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and family.
Odiela is survived by: her husband of 58 years, Elmer; children, LaVern (Sherry), of Stanley, N.D., Sheryl (Rocky) Shotnokaff, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Steven (Carol), of Isabel, S.D., Elliot (Stephany), of Plano, Texas, Virgil (friend Julie), of McClusky, and Lynette (Norman) Boehm, of McClusky; brothers, Ronald (Loretta), William (Carol), David (Sharon), Curtis (Linda), Clarence (Nancy), of Bismarck, and Gary (Marilyn), of Mandan; sisters, Glennis Muscha (Ben), of Harvey, and Lois Mertz, of Bismarck; sisters-in-law, Shirley Mertz, of Minot, N.D., and Marlene (John) Grate, of Isabel, S.D. She is also survived by many grandchildren, stepgrandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind her best friends, Dianne and Melvin Hissung.
Odiela was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Allen, Whelan, and Arlin; and sister, Melita Rose Mertz.
In honoring Odiela's request, a graveside service is being scheduled for May 10, 2014, at the St. Jacobus Lutheran Cemetery of rural Goodrich.