Elzie and Ruby Odom have added another milestone to their life’s journey together. Among four generations of their family, they recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
Their daughter Barbara Odom-Wesley perfectly describes her parents as role models demonstrating a combination of traditional family values and devotion to community service.
As reported in the Arlington Citizen Journal, Odom-Wesley revealed the essence of their successful life together: “They attribute their long, happy marriage to always sharing everything and doing everything together. The most important attribute for their marriage is putting God first in all things.”
Ruby and Elzie were childhood sweethearts and were married shortly after graduating from high school. Ruby was the daughter of Elzie’s pastor at Mount Hope Baptist Church in Shankleville, Texas.
The couple described their courtship days as always taking place under the supervision of a parent or other family member. “The first time we were ever alone,” Elzie says, “was on our wedding night.”
The couple became Arlington residents in 1979 with Elzie’s work in the Postal Service. He rose to the position of a postal inspector before his retirement.
He was the first African-American to serve on the Arlington City Council and then was elected mayor of the city in 1997 – a position he would hold for six years before stepping down after leading the city through a period of maturity that culminated with Arlington growing to become the 50th largest in the country.
Former mayor Richard Greene who served with Odom and preceded him in the office, marked the occasion, “I helped the Odom’s celebrate their 50th anniversary, and it’s hard to believe another 20 years has passed.
“Elzie’s service was exemplary. His hard work for the people of our community was recognized across the city and led to his successful campaign to follow me as mayor. But, his devotion to the community didn’t end after his three terms in the office, as Elzie has remained an active supporter for every initiative that would improve the quality of life for our citizens.”