Dianna Lawson Odum, 74, of Saint Pauls, North Carolina, passed away unexpectedly at home on
October 2nd, 2023.
Dianna was born on February 22nd, 1949, to parents James and Martha Rowena Lawson in Oneida, Tennessee. On August 17, 1981, Dianna married John Edward Odum, Jr. at Saint Pauls Methodist Church. Dianna and Johnny went on to have one daughter, Amanda Lynne.
After graduating from Saint Pauls High School in 1967, Dianne went on to study teaching at East Carolina University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and began her teaching career at Gray’s Creek Middle School in the Fall of 1971. She then went on to work in education at Southview Middle School, Red Springs High School, and several other schools in Robeson County before retiring after almost forty years.
Dianna’s enthusiasm for teaching and people was apparent to all who knew her. “Mrs. Odum” loved her students and was beloved by many of them in return. Beyond the classroom, her warm, outgoing personality and kind heart endeared her to nearly everyone she met, and she considered her friends to be a part of her family. After battling breast cancer twice, Dianne was also passionate about sharing her survival story and supporting other women in their fight against the disease.
After retiring from teaching, Dianna was finally able to travel, garden, read, and spend time with loved ones at her leisure. In recent years, she spent a significant amount of time with her husband, Johnny, at their second home. Here she enjoyed the beauty of the North Carolina coast and the company of many friends and neighbors.
Dianna was preceded in death by her parents, Martha “Rena” Goodrich and Jim Lawson.
She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Johnny; daughter, Amanda Odum (Nick Stevenson); and brother, Dana Lawson (Kathy).
A visitation will be held at McNeill Legacy Funeral Home in Saint Pauls on Friday, October 6th at 7 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Dianna’s name to the Gibson Cancer Center in Lumberton via the Southeastern Health Foundation (srmc.org/foundation).