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Professor Jean Odend’hal

Cedar Grove Cemetery
3rd Alley West, Lot 9
(1809 – 1883)

Professor Jean Odend’hal was born on July 9, 1809 in St. Avold, France.  His parents were Jean Odend’hal and Catherine Mercier.  Jean Odend’hal came to America in 1824 and served as the Secretary to General Marques de Lafayette during the American Revolution, when Lafayette served in the Continental Army under George Washington.  Professor Odend’hal was married to Mary Slack (1811 – 1896), daughter of Anne Murray and Josiah Slack.  The following is an excerpt from the Norfolk Daily Paper describing Mr. Odend’hal’s contribution to Norfolk society:

Jean Odend’hal, Professor
Daily Paper, Thursday, September 13, 1883
Died on Wednesday, September 12, 1883 at 12:30 pm in the 75th year of his age. The funeral will take place from his residence --28 Fenchurch Street, Friday afternoon (September 14, 1883) at 4:00 pm. Friends and acquaintances invited to attend. (Baltimore, Washington and North Carolina papers)

We sincerely regret to announce the death of this venerable and well-known citizen, which occurred yesterday (Wednesday, September 12, 1883) at his late residence on Fenchurch Street, after a long illness of some 4 months' duration. He was one of our most esteemed and best known citizens. He was a native of France and arrived in this country 58 years ago, in 1825 [monument epitaph disagrees with this date], on the occasion of the second visit of General Lafayette to this country, whose private secretary was his. He, who accompanied Lafayette to Norfolk, concluded to settle in this city and make it his home. He engaged in the teaching of French, which occupation he followed without intermission up to the period when he was attacked with his fatal illness. He was professor of French for some time at the University of North Carolina and for years at the Norfolk Academy. He was most proficient as an instructor and his private classes were always large. He instructed many of the most distinguished of our naval officers in the use of the language. He was in the 75th year of his age and leaves to mourn his loss a widow and 9 children. We extend to them, our sincere sympathies.

Saturday, September 15, 1883
The funeral of this venerable and esteemed gentleman took place yesterday afternoon (Friday, September 14, 1883) from his late residence on Fenchurch Street and was largely attended. The Rev Dr. Barten of Christ Church, Episcopal and Rev L.B. Betty of Queen Street Methodist Episcopal Church officiated. The following gentlemen served as pallbearers: Messrs. M.A. Santos, E. Allen, Thomas Kevill, N.B. Webster, Joseph R. Sprately and Samuel Kimberley.*

Other Odend’hal family members interred on the Odend’hal lot include:  Helen E., d. 1911; Bernard L., d. 1954; Fortune, d. 1926; Armanda L., d. 1937; Mary A., d. 1891; Joseph S., d. 1928; Julia H., d. 1931.


Biographical information provided by Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries.

Visitor Information

Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Office hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free parking inside cemetery.

Admission Cost: Free

Address: 238 E. Princess Anne Road, Norfolk, VA 23510

Official web site for more information: www.norfolk.gov/cemeteries

Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: www.norfolksocietyforcemeteryconservation.org