Foundation 48:Pass the Rock. Celebrate life & legacy of MCO
Organized by: John Francis Rhea Gabriel
EVENT DATE Apr 05, 2015
At 6'4, 250lbs, Charles was a gentle giant who embodied loving kindness. Everywhere he went, he carried with him a beaming smile, one that could melt ice cream. He had a strong love and passion for music, reading and traveling. He was an adventuresome spirit, having lived in NY, Pittsburgh, SF, St. Louis, Chicago and Phx. Of all the places he visited, Paris, France was the city Charles loved most. He was many things to many people, a mentor, a dear friend, a loving brother and uncle, a colleague and a sports fan who loved the game of basketball. The joy he received from these hobbies was surpassed only by his love he had for family and friends.
"Charles loved me as I was at a time I wasn't clear what love meant, he was fiercely loyal to his friends and taught me how to grow as a MAN"
After moving back home in 2003 to take care of his ailing Dad in IN, Charles moved to Phoenix in 2008 to be closer to his sister, nieces and nephews. He would spend the next five years settling down and taking care of those close to him- some would say “getting into the groove”.
"He repeatedly spoke about them and was so proud of the man Teryn was growing up to be. He was happy that he got to spend so much time with Teryn, doing vision boards, trying to give him advice, trying to help him remain focused (in school and life) so that he would do well and head to college"
“Charles was like my ying and I was the yang. We would talk everyday and he always asking about my family and offering advice. That is the kind of person he was... so giving."
On August 23, 2013, everything changed. During his shift as a cab driver, Milton Charles Odom was shot twice in the head, and lived to tell about it:
Doctors said it was a miracle. We all cried tears of joy, breathed a sigh of relief, and thanked God, when he walked out of the trauma unit joking with doctors and nurses as they released him.
17 months go by, in which he has had recuperated from various surgeries, multiple rehabilitation sessions, and ongoing counseling. He was challenged with the court system to bring closure and justice for all he lost that evening. In typical Charles fashion, he maintained a smile on his face, still inquiring how others are doing and tries to deflect attention away from himself. Not many can see it, but those who knew him well could see the impact that night had on him. The PTSD of the event was overwhelming; he struggled in large crowds, didn’t sleep well and got anxious whenever someone was behind him. This wasn’t the same friend, brother, uncle, mentor and colleague that we all knew.
The last time many of us saw Charles was the weekend of Feb. 6-8, 2015 when he planned a double surprise birthday bash in Palm Springs for two of his closest friends, Rhea and Francis. He started the planning 6 months before because it would help him take his mind off things, but also because he wanted to make this special by bringing both new and old friends together. The weekend was amazing and you could see the glimmer of old Charles back. Unfortunately for us that would be one of the last time we would get to have him in our presence.
March 7, 2015: After surviving a miracle, our friend, brother, uncle, mentor and colleague died doing what he loved best, playing basketball with his oldest nephew, Frederick Dudley. We will never know if the heart-attack was possibly induced by the stress of the pending trial of his assailant, Mathew Howardell, but what we do know is that Milton Charles Odom had a full and blessed life. He knew how to make people feel special and was always willing to help/give.
“I have no words and still can’t believe you’re gone. It feels selfish wanting you to be here because apparently God needed one of his angels back.”
Two reasons we are asking for your contribution:
1. Charles had just finished paying off his near death experience medical bills with savings and the support of friends/family. We’d like to help his family cover the funeral cost so that they don’t have to bare the burden alone. If you can spare $5.00, $10.00, or $20.00, that adds up and can make the difference.
2. We’re hoping that there are additional funds, which we will put into a 529 Plan for Teryn so he can continue his education and dreams of graduating college.
The family and friends of Milton Charles Odom would like to thank you for any support you can provide and for helping us send Charles off in a similar way to how he lived his life, being of service to others.
"When Milton Charles Odom died, he didn’t lose. He won because of the manner in which he lived his life, the fact that he stood strong through it all and that he loved unconditionally."
Hence the name Foundation 48:Pass the Rock
48 when he passed on
48 minutes in a basketball game
Passing the basketball is Passing the Rock and Passing the Rock is leaving his legacy behind of Teryn to follow and Passing the Rock to us is a lending of support for his family.