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The Story of… Bernadette “Bern” Marie Odum, began on May 25, 1945. She was the first born child of Charles & Veola Odum Sr. Who preceded her in their home goings as well as her brother Clarence Odum and son Michael W. Beasley.
Raised in First Church Deliverance, Bernadette was casted in the children’s choir and attended faithfully throughout her adult life. In 1948, the family moved to the westside of Chicago on South Troy Street. There Bern attended Lawson Elementary, Julius Hayes Hess Upper Grade Center and Carter H. Harrison Technical High School. She graduated as a member of numerous organizations ranging from the Ladies of Distinction, Student Council to the A Cappella Choir in 1963.
The Summer of June 1963, Bernadette married the late Ward Beasley, a union that bore four beautiful children. Bern’s parenting style stressed the importance of self-esteem. She attended softball, basketball and football games, plays, dance recitals and cotillions. You name it, Bern was there to foster and support the confidence of her children. An unconditional love she embedded in her grandchildren as she made a point to travel to every event that mattered most and the priceless moments made just because. There was never a shortage of her time, as she gave it all away without a second thought to be there for the ones she loved.
Not only was Bernadette giving, she was passionate, hardworking and driven. A true force to be reckoned with as she obtained her Real Estate License on the first try in 1985 and strategically climbed the ranks of administration from Cook County Hospital to Providence Hospital where she retired at sixty years old in 2005. After retirement, Bern continued to be an avid and dedicated reader through her twenty plus years of membership to the sisters in Reading (SIR) and Red Hat Society book club. Her pursuit of knowledge naturally led her to be a connoisseur of history, museums and detective shows. A guilty pleasure that consisted of “Texas Ranger,” a bag of Jays chips and a Pepsi on the side for every nightcap.
On the morning of Friday, January 5, 2024, Bernadette was called home. Her legacy of love and compassion will live on through her children: Latonya Lane (Shelly), Staci Washington (Calvin) and Jeffrey W. Beasley (Heather). As well as her eleven grandchildren Shelly III, Afton (Justin), Cole J. (Micah), Ivy (Kevin), Chase J., Chandler J., Sydnei, Connor J., Myles, Chloe, Justise; and her three great grandchildren Channing, Paxton and Parker.
Bernadette leaves to cherish her memory one brother, Charles Odum, one sister-in-law Rochelle Odum, nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of relatives and friends.