Odis L. Easter
Master Sergeant
U. S. A. F.
Civil Rights

Odis was born at home on the family farm near Waldo, Arkansas, as one of ten children. Until he left home he plowed with a mule or a horse. The family had plenty to eat, he recalls, but did not have electricity until 1954. Odis remembers attending movie theaters where he and other African-Americans sat upstairs, while whites occupied downstairs seating. After graduating from Waldo Colored High School in 1955, he would earn a bachelor of arts and two masters' degrees in human relations and public administration. His first attempt at higher education was interrupted after two years when he entered the U.S. Air Force in June of 1958. After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base he was assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base as an air policeman. Odis was sent to an Air Defense Command Base at Goose Bay, Labrador. After 18 months he returned to Little Rock for three years, and then was ordered to Lakenheath, England, as part of the 48th Air Base Wing. Switching from military police work, he trained as a printer. For 14 months Odis, by then a master sergeant, supervised a print shop at Korat Air Force Base in Thailand. Back in America he continued work as a printer at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. While there he earned his bachelor's degree from Mackenzie College and two masters degrees. In 1964 he married Linda Gabbard. They had one child before Linda died in 1969. In 1975, while in Scott, he married Helen Washington of Warren, Arkansas. The couple had two children to add to Helen's two from a previous marriage. Altogether, Odis had five children and eleven grandchildren. He retired at Barksdale Air Force Base in 1981. He then opened Easter Reprographics Print Shop, a business he sold in 1996.