Honoring Family Through
the Gift of Hope 

John H. O’Dell III

John H. O’Dell III, a member of the University of Arizona class of 1960, gave the promise of research breakthroughs to families affected by cancer. Through careful estate planning, including the use of beneficiary designations, he made an estate gift of more than $5 million to the University of Arizona Cancer Center in the name of his family and specifically in honor of his sister, Erin O’Dell, who died of ovarian cancer in 2012.

Erin was treated at the Center, and John expressed gratitude for her care. The O’Dell Family Memorial Cancer Research Fund will bolster the Center’s efforts to bring the power of research to cancer prevention and treatment through the latest discoveries. The Center, designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, focuses on patient care as well as research, prevention, education, outreach, and training.

John was 85 when he passed away in December 2021. He lived in the Phoenix area, where he was the owner of John O’Dell Farms and the agricultural consulting firm Arizona AG Services. Farming was the family business for the O’Dells. His mother, Anne O’Dell, was a citrus grower and the owner and operator of the Garden of Mesa. His father, John O’Dell Jr., served as head of the UArizona Cooperative Extension Service for Maricopa County. 


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