Laurens Co. man continues to serve community at 100 years old

The Laurens County native turned 100 years old last year
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 11:20 PM EDT
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HICKORY TAVERN, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - At 100 years old, Paul O’Dell has devoted his life to service with no intentions of slowing down anytime soon.

O’Dell makes his way to the Hickory Tavern Lions Club every third Monday of the month.

“Good food,” he joked.

The Laurens County native turned 100 years old last August.

“All-around great guy,” said Hickory Tavern Lions Club President Tab Boiter.

“I’m there to pass my experience on to the next generation,” said O’Dell.

Experience is something he has plenty of.

When O’Dell was 20 years old, he enlisted in the army and spent three years in Europe during World War II.

When he came home, he served as a Laurens County Commissioner, County Council Member, and on the Registration and Election board all while running his family farm. The tractor he still uses, he bought in the 1940s.

He’s also a lifetime member of Union Baptist Church.

“I like to meet people. I just enjoy getting out among the population all over the county. Have friends everywhere,” O’Dell said.

He joined the Hickory Tavern Lions Club in the late 1950s and is one of three members with over five decades of service as part of the club.

The other two are Tommy Huffman and Roy Christie.

“It’s always nice to be able to serve people that’s in need that doesn’t have as much,” said Huffman.

“You want to have some good fellowship and do something for your community? Join the Lions Club,” added Christie.

After each Lions Club meeting, O’Dell heads home to the farm in his brand new 2023 Buick he drives himself.

“I got my licensed renewed right before my 100th birthday,” he said.

Last year, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a house resolution congratulating O’Dell on his 100th birthday and thanking him for a lifetime of service.