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Constance Odell "Connie" Sams

December 22, 1947 - November 23, 2019

Constance (“Connie”, “Nonnie”) Odell Sams, 71, passed away peacefully on November 23, 2019 in Portland, OR due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease.


Connie was born in Los Angeles, CA on December 22, 1947. She grew up in northeast LA and graduated from Eagle Rock High School in 1965. She earned a BA in Sociology from Lewis and Clark College and graduated in 1969. Connie married the love of her life, Laurence (“Larry”), on May 3, 1969. Later, she earned a Masters in Sociology from Washington State University. They then moved to Lake Oswego, OR in 1978 and lived in the same house for over 40 years!


Connie was preceded in death by her devoted husband of 50 years, Larry, whom she met during freshman orientation week at Lewis and Clark and it was “love at first sight”; and by her parents, Morgan and Betty Odell. She is survived by daughter, Julie of Portland, OR and son, Peter (Minna Kim) of Sudbury, MA; and grandchildren, Collin and Ian Arthur and Caitie, Corie and Ben Sams. She is also survived by her sister, Corkie Odell (Mike Sollenberger) and brother, Doug Odell (Wynne) both of Fort Collins, CO. Lastly, she is survived by beloved relatives, cousins, nieces, nephews, and  many friends.


Connie was a dedicated and respected school secretary in the Lake Oswego School District for 25 years, Hallinan and Westridge Elementary Schools. She had a passion for travel, loved to plan out the itinerary, and would pour over maps and tour books in preparation for every trip. Some of their favorite adventures were in Europe, Costa Rica, and The Grand Canyon. She enjoyed reading all genres of books, was a lover of animals (especially cats!), the outdoors (walking, hiking, swimming and kayaking), and listening and singing along to music, especially heavy metal. Her favorite spot was in the warm California sun at her family’s Laguna Beach house. She was a loving grandmother to her 5 grandchildren and devoted her time to being with them as much as possible. Connie and Larry were inseparable and will forever be soul mates.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Alzheimer’s Association (, the Cat Adoption Team (, or Lewis and Clark College (


There will be a small family celebration of life in the spring.


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