Beautiful day, beautiful man—Tom Oden

odenMy daughter texted me yesterday morning that Tom Oden had passed away in his sleep a few hours earlier. I won’t rehearse his amazing career for you. I only want to express extreme gratitude for being able to get to know this wonderful man, if even slightly. His grandnephew (Tom’s brother Tal’s grandson) Tuck Oden is my son-in-law (married to my oldest daughter Mila). The entire Oden clan are wonderful people, and it’s been a pleasure to enjoy their company now and then upon visiting Oklahoma City.

I saw Tom Oden last this past June at Tuck and Mila’s home where we were gathered to celebrate my grandson Tommy’s (named after both Tom and myself) 2nd birthday. As his brother Tal sat at the upright banging out old hymns in stride fashion, Tom and I enjoyed the day on the sofa talking about what we both love – theology – and our very similar journey toward and appreciation of Orthodoxy. We chatted about family, love of books, the Fathers, and of course his amazing library. Tom was quite the collector. It was a beautiful conversation on a beautiful day with a beautiful man.