Whimsical 07


David Leo Odette

October 22, 1963 ~ September 8, 2018 (age 54)

David Odette, who lived a magical life full of love for his family, creative passion, constant smiles -- and always a trick up his sleeve or in his pocket -- passed away Saturday, September 8, 2018 at his home in Ionia, Michigan, surrounded by his children, his best friend and his siblings.

He is survived by his daughter, Olivia Odette of Nashville, Tenn., his son, Owen Odette; his best friend Linda (Heppe) Odette; his brother, Dr. Bill Odette of Tucson, Ariz., his sister, Dr. Caroline (Dr. Anastas Pass) Odette of Houston, Texas, and their daughter Erin Bosco (Mike); his brother, John (Renee) Odette and their sons, Ian, Cullen, and Johnathon of Ionia; special aunt, Patricia Brush of Blenheim, Ontario, and many Canadian cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, William George Odette and Mary Katherine "Kay" Odette; his brother, Thomas Odette; and a sister-in-law, Mary Odette.

Dave was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on October 22, 1963 and his family moved to Ionia from Canada when he was very young. He attended Ss. Peter and Paul School, Ionia High School (where he graduated from in 1981) and Grand Rapids Junior College. He married Linda Heppe in 1992 and their newspaper careers took them to Holland, Muskegon, and Grand Rapids. After the birth of his first child, he became a stay-at-home Dad while also working as a professional magician, performing at festivals, corporate and private shows around West Michigan, including several years as part of But Wait, There’s More. In the past few years, he had lived in Ionia being the caretaker of his mother, who passed earlier this year.

Dave got excited making great photographs, from sunsets to eclipses, from rooftops to sidewalks, from the rich to the poor and everything in between. He got even more excited over the beauty and history surrounding magic, from lithograph posters to illusions to tales of old magicians. His collection of magic posters, memorabilia and props was the largest in the state and was featured at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, the Tri-Cities Historical Museum and the Ionia Free Fair. His collection of vintage magic valentines was the largest in the U.S.

Dave loved music and was rocking to The Clash, The Ramones and other punk rockers before most. He also never stopped believing in the Detroit Lions, loved watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart and having great big breakfasts at greasy diners.

Dave started taking photos in high school for the Ionia Sentinel Standard, which led to working for the Greenville Daily News, The Holland Sentinel, the Muskegon Chronicle and The Grand Rapids Press. His awards included the photo of the year for Michigan in 1993 from the Michigan Press Association and national recognition from the Society of Newspaper Design. His own photos and posters have appeared in several books about magic and he was the photographer for a book by The Amazing Kreskin.

As a Dad, Dave taught his daughter and son to be his “trusty assistants,” loving them to the moon and back and watching them grow up to be fantastic people who will keep spreading his kindness, his smile and one-of-a-kind sense of humor. 

Visitation will be Friday, September 14, 2018 from 4-8 p.m. at the Lehman Funeral Home, 220 Rich St., Ionia, MI, (616)-527-2250.  A broken wand ceremony will take place at 6:00 p.m. and a rosary at 7:30 p.m.  The Funeral Mass will be September 15, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 434 High St., Ionia, MI 48846.  Burial and and another broken wand service is planned for August 2019 during the annual Colon Magic Festival, at the Lakeside Cemetery in Colon, Michigan, where many magicians have made their final resting place. Arrangements are entrusted to Lehman Funeral Homes. Online condolences may be made at www.lehmanfuneralhomes.com. Those wishing may make contributions to the Ionia County Historical Society (P.O. Box 176, Ionia, MI), Dave’s son’s college education fund, Grand Rapids Alcoholics Anonymous (https://www.grandrapidsaa.org/), or the Alano Club of Kent County (https://www.gralanoclub.org/).

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