John Browning Odell Jr. ’83

John Browning Odell Jr., a man devoted to his family, his faith in God, and his community, passed away Monday morning, July 17, 2023, following a valiant battle with pneumonia. His wife and children were with him. He was 62.

Born July 9, 1961 in Sacramento, California, he was the son of the late John Browning Odell and Shirley Hartmann Odell Kirby.

When he was a toddler, the family moved back to Newport News in Tidewater Virginia, where generations of Odells lived. He attended Davidson College in North Carolina, where he earned his degree in history. (He recently attended his 40th reunion and was a proud Wildcat.)

His love of history led him to the National Park Service where he was a park ranger at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, and then to the Curator’s Office at the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. He met Margaret “Peg” Schmid at the Senate. They married in 1992 and lived in Arlington, Virginia. While working at the Senate full-time he earned his Master’s in Museum Studies at George Washington University. After 14 years at the Senate, he read a job listing that merged his museum vocation with his lifelong passion for baseball.

As a result, John has served as Curator of History and Research for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for 24 years, working with great people and telling wonderful stories through print and exhibits. He was frequently told he had the best job, and he agreed.

John served his community in many ways. A faithful and dedicated member of Christ Church in Cooperstown, he was currently serving as Senior Warden. He participated in and then led a weekly 6 a.m. Men’s Bible Study for almost two decades. He had been a coach and board member for Cooperstown Youth Baseball. While he was an Orioles fan, he loved seeing any baseball game, at any level, especially when it was live and in person.

He had served on the Parks Board for Cooperstown, and on the board of Friends of the Parks for many years. He stepped back from volunteering in March 2020 when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, which he fought bravely with the guidance of Bassett Healthcare and the caring people there. He was delighted to “ring the bell” marking the end of his chemotherapy in August 2022, and he and Peg celebrated with a trip to Portugal.

John loved the outdoors and instilled a love for it in his children. The family enjoyed hiking locally and on vacation. He was an excellent trivia player, crossword puzzle completer, and he grilled up excellent salmon.

John is survived by his wife, Peg Schmid Odell, of Cooperstown and their three children, Rebecca Louise Odell of Albany, John Floyd “Jack” Odell of Cooperstown, and Emrys Carleton Odell of Cooperstown. His family love him very much and will miss having such a thoughtful, funny, caring, and supportive husband and dad. He is further survived by a sister, Beth Odell Dunn of Newport News, Virginia, and a brother, Scott Odell and his partner Marci Kisling of Quinton, Virginia, as well as his wife’s mother, Ruth A. Schmid of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and Peg’s siblings, Barbara Schmid Heifetz and husband, Hal, of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, and William O. Schmid and wife, Lori, of Allendale, New Jersey and their families, his aunt Nancy Hartmann Welker, and a stepfather, Douglas Kirby. He enjoyed spending time with family, including much loved cousins, at the holidays, in creeks, at the beach, and at Taff Family reunions.

Friends are welcome to pay their respects to the Odell family from 4-7 p.m. on Monday, July 24, 2023 at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown. A service will be offered at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at Christ Church, 46 River Street in Cooperstown, with Father Nathan Ritter, Rector, officiating. Immediately following the funeral there will be a reception in the Parish Hall.

Interment will be private in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown, where John will be laid to rest near Fairy Spring, where he and his family enjoyed picnics, cooling off in the lake, and kayaking.

In lieu of flowers, John’s family respectfully requests that memorial donations be directed to Friends of the Parks, PO Box 1008, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

John would encourage each of us to take that trip, to enjoy a hike, to call a friend, to spend time with family, and to go see a ballgame.

Paul Buckley Griffith ’83

It is with heavy hearts that we write to tell you that our beloved Paul passed away on June 28th in the early hours of the morning. Our family, along with Paul’s brother Joe, were there with him in his final moments. He died peacefully, surrounded by the love of his family. We will miss Paul forever, but are comforted by the knowledge that he now exists in transcendent peace and joy with Christ. 

Over these past weeks and months, we have received so many beautiful messages of love and support from people across the chapters of Paul’s life. We read each of these messages to him and are deeply grateful for the time you all took to show Paul how loved, admired and appreciated he was. They meant so much to him and they brought smiles, joy, gratitude and laughter into our home during a challenging time. We will find comfort in these messages for years to come.

We would love for as many people as possible to mark his passing in person, so weare planning events in both the UK and the US. Paul’s funeral will be held in the UK on Saturday, 16 July 2022. A memorial gathering will be held for Paul in Washington DC on Saturday, 30 July, 2022. Please see below for full details. 

UK Funeral Service – Saturday, July 16, 2022 – Please RSVP

10:30 AM Requiem Mass

Verona Fathers, Sacred Heart Church, Sunningdale, SL5 OJY, UK

(Livestream available)

12:00 PM Funeral Procession from Sacred Heart Church to Crematorium

12:30 PM Committal Service

Easthampstead Park Cemetery and Crematorium, South Road, Bracknell, Wokingham, 

RG40 3DW, UK

 (Livestream available)

1:30 PM Reception at Griffith Residence

Abbotswood, Waverley Drive, Virginia Water, Surrey, GU25 4PZ, UK

US Memorial Gathering – Saturday, July 30, 2022 – Please RSVP

Washington DC, USA. Further details on time and location to follow.

For more information about these memorial services and to RSVP, please visit

Lyn Bolen Warren ’83

Lyn Bolen Warren, pioneering gallerist and brilliant art historian, passed away peacefully at home at the age of 60 on November 21, 2021.

Lyn transformed the cultural landscape of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the larger Mid-Atlantic by creating a vibrant context for the exhibition, promotion and appreciation of high-caliber modern and contemporary art. Her generous, open spirit and impeccable credentials fostered her extraordinary ability to communicate, in the most meaningful ways, her belief in visual art as a vital, beneficial aspect of human experience.

Raised in Galax, Virginia, by Mrs. Carolyn Hill Bolen and Dr. John William Bolen, Lyn graduated from Davidson College summa cum laude (1983) and won a prestigious internship at the Guggenheim Museum. She then entered the graduate program in Art History at the University of Virginia, where she earned an MA and a Ph.D. (1994). The syncretic and original nature of her dissertation research on the role and meaning of dance choreography in modern art led to an appointment at UVA’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, an honor extended to only a handful of graduate students university-wide. She also curated a widely-admired show on dance in modern art for UVA’s art museum, securing loans of artworks from elite global institutions. This was followed by her powerful and internationally acclaimed art exhibition “Hindsight Fore-site: Art for the Millennium” (2000), which juxtaposed provocative contemporary works with important historic sites throughout Virginia and included the publication of a major book of essays.

As the Director of Les Yeux du Monde Gallery, which she founded in 1995, Lyn championed both established and emerging artists and curated beautiful and compelling shows that united artists and viewers in an exciting exchange of ideas that reverberated throughout the greater cultural community. Migrating from the walls of her mountaintop home to the bohemian milieu of Starr Hill, to the airy rooms of her Water Street establishment and back again to the iconic structure she built on her property in collaboration with famed architect W. G. Clark, Les Yeux du Monde has been, since its inception, a locus of serious artistic endeavor.

Through her tireless orchestration of openings, talks, a Collectors’ Club, museum tours, artist lunches, multigenre performances and collaborative shows, Lyn shared her passion and intellect with the community around her. Driven by a belief that art could be a conduit for healing, growth and understanding, she benevolently brought art to the places that needed it most: hospitals, schools, non-profits and outdoor spaces that enabled the larger community to be moved and transformed in a way she knew possible through art.

Lyn also co-founded the Lydia Csato Gasman Archives for Picasso and Modernist Studies to preserve and disseminate the work of her esteemed mentor, hosting much-anticipated biannual Picasso shows and galas to further that cause and solidify Charlottesville as an epicenter for the arts. Together with her husband, artist Russ Warren, Lyn gave popular talks on art and business at UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce and served on Davidson College’s Art Acquisition Committee.

Lyn was a rare person possessed of an acute, visionary intelligence and fierce drive, coupled with a hospitable warmth and infectious kindness, which made everything she did seem graceful and effortless. Adored by her family and friends, she remains a cosmic beacon of light and inspiration for all who had the great good fortune to be in her orbit. Lyn is survived by her beloved family: husband, Russ Warren of Charlottesville, Virginia; daughter, Hagan Rushton Tampellini and her husband, John, of Charlottesville, Virginia and New York, New York; son, Ray Rushton of Richmond, Virginia; mother, Carolyn Bolen Warren and her husband, Dr. Bertram Warren, of Galax and Charlottesville, Virginia; stepdaughter, Tasha Warren and her husband, Guy Yehuda, of Okemos, Michigan; stepdaughter, Marie Hegland of Charlotte, North Carolina; brother, Dr. John Bolen and his wife, Alison, of Galax, Virginia; niece, Jacquelyn Bolen and her fiancé, Nick Sutter, of Washington, D.C.; and nephew, John Bolen and his wife, Beverley, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

A celebration of Lyn’s life will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 4 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. The family will receive friends at the church beforehand beginning at 12 p.m.

  • Copyright: © Copyright 2021, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, VA

William Hawthorne Barber, Jr. ’83

William Hawthorne Barber, Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 28, 2019. Bill was born on January 30, 1961, in Atlanta where he lived most of his life. He was an incredibly loving son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and friend.

He is survived by his mother, Gladys Lamb Barber, his siblings Kathy (Barber) and Paul Boyer, Ken and Cindy (Rugh) Barber, Ellen (Barber) and Kevin Vanderpool, and several nieces and nephews: Scott Boyer, Molly Boyer, Chase Barber, Clay Barber, Caroline Barber, Will Vanderpool and Mary Kate Vanderpool, as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins in Metro Atlanta, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

His father, William Hawthorne Barber, predeceased him. Bill was a graduate of Riverwood High School in Sandy Springs, Georgia and Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. He worked in the banking industry for many years then transitioned to the retail industry.

He earned the rank of Eagle Scout with Troop 60 based at the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta and was also an Assistant Scoutmaster in his adult years. He was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta where he volunteered for the Sunday Breakfast for the homeless in the community and other church activities including the Archive Committee, Care Council, and Worship Service Usher.

He shared his gentle nature, kind heart, and love for people with church members as a lay minister in the Stephen Ministry.

In his spare time, he enjoyed helping new U.S. immigrants by providing English Language instruction. He possessed a great love of art, literature, music, antiques, and travel but his greatest loves were for his God and his family.

There will be a celebration of his life at the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta on Friday, May 10 at 11:00 AM. A reception will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory can be made to The Fund for Davidson, Davidson College, Box 7170, Davidson, NC 28035 or

Copyright (c) 2019 The Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution

Joseph “Joe” John Palasak, Jr. ’83

Joseph “Joe” John Palasak, Jr. '83Joseph “Joe” John Palasak, Jr, passed away on Saturday, February 10th, after a full 57 years of life and love of his family.

A celebration of Joe’s life will take place at 11:00, Thursday, February 15, 2018 at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, with Monsignor David LeSieur officiating.

The visitation is 10:00 a.m., Thursday, February 15, 2018 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Rogers, Arkansas.

Joe was an alumnus of Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree. He went to on to earn his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. He was an active parishioner at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, in Rogers, Arkansas and served his community through youth athletics throughout his life, most recently with Rogers Youth Baseball. Professionally, Joe has been employed as the Director of Engineering for Tyson Foods’ Civil, Structural, and Architecture Division, for the past thirteen years, following his fifteen years at The Facility Group in Smyrna, Georgia and four years at Carlson & Associates.

Born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey to Maryanne and Joseph John Palasak, Sr. on July 23, 1960, Joe spent his childhood in Edison, New Jersey and was given the superlative “Best Hair” by his friends in the 8th grade, which he would jokingly remind his family of from time to time. He surfed and played high school football in Daytona Beach, Florida, where his athletic abilities earned him a scholarship to play Defensive End at Davidson College.

Joe and his wife, Bonnie began their life together over 22 years ago in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA and enjoyed raising their children, prioritizing family dinners and vacation, as well as playing couples tennis in their neighborhood with dear and forever friends. Above all else, nothing was more important to Joe than family.

Relocating to Rogers, Arkansas 13 years ago to join Tyson Foods, he made every effort to ensure his business trips were planned around being present for his kids’ sporting events and activities. He was proud of not only what they have accomplished but also who they were as individuals, and didn’t want to miss a moment of his front seat to their lives. Family was his passion and his priority. He was happiest when all were under one roof if only for a meal or a moment.

Although he would never admit it, his giving heart touched the lives of many, as a good steward of his time and resources, Joe took his role as “Coach” for the youth recreational teams to heart. He coached softball, baseball, basketball, and football, making sure to offer them additional resources to improve their game with videos they could watch or extra drills they could do to make them better.

His engineering side kicked in as he developed “lesson plans” for each practice for rec ball. Joe impressed upon his own children the importance of giving and elevated the message to do something in their lives to help other people.

Joe Palasak was a humble and faithful servant, and did not come to this world to stay, but has finished his task and gone home to live with his Heavenly Father.

Joe is preceded in death by his Father, Joseph John Palasak, Sr.

Joe’s legacy will continue through his survivors: his wife of 22 years, Bonnie Salmon Palasak; his four children: Danielle Todd, and her husband Wes, of Tuscumbia, Alabama, Riley Palasak of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Emma Palasak and Grant Palasak of Rogers, Arkansas. His mother, Maryanne Palasak of Daytona Beach, Florida, Sister, Susanne Meska (Steve) of Port Orange, Florida; one grandson, Maddux Todd and one granddaughter, Maizy Todd, as well as niece, Michelle Calhoun and nephew, Donald Baal.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Rogers Youth Baseball, P.O. Box 727, Rogers, Arkansas, 72757

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