On Saturday, 13th March 2021, John Mark Odeke, loving husband, father, brother, son and a friend passed on aged 53.
John was born on 17th July 1967 to Christopher and Esther Odeke. He was the sixth child and their first son. His parents were so thrilled to have a son that they gave him the names of the three apostles in Bible; John, Mark and Peter and more names including ‘Tabu’ and ‘Matata’ which he lived up to as a child.
John met the love of his life, Evelyn, when they were at University and they have twin sons, Isaac and Christopher.
John was a curious and an adventurous child. 1n 1971 at age four, upon return of the family from Kenya to Uganda, John wandered off unnoticed while at Kampala Railway Station. Several hours later when it was discovered that he was missing from the rest of the family, his mother went back to the railway station and found him in the company and engaged in conversation with a railway policeman. John’s explanation for his whereabouts was that he had gone to explore the trains, the rail lines and meet the people who worked there. That was his welcome to Uganda and to Kampala, the city he would call home for many years.
John was also very accident prone. At 6 years of age, he had his first major accident when a car hit him outside his school, and he broke his arm. He was very proud to wear a cast almost like a badge of honour.
John attended East Kololo Primary School in Kampala and St Peter’s College, Tororo for Secondary School. He then went on to Makerere University where he completed a BA in Political Science and Philosophy in 1994.
John also completed a Master’s in Business Administration from the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) as well as a diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. At the time of his death, John was pursuing a PhD in Marketing.
Whilst at Makerere University, John was a resident of Lumumba Hall where he held various positions such as LC Chairman, Member of the Guild Electoral Commission; Member of the Guild Students Council for two consecutive terms, Secretary for Defense Council 1, Vice Chairman hall disciplinary committee l, Vice-captain rugby and volleyball teams.
At one point, John also tried boxing which was short lived. He had recently tried working out at home and bought himself some gym equipment, but God knows how many times he actually exercised!
After graduating from University, John started his career at the New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation where he worked for two years as a sub-editor/proofreader.
He then moved on to Service & computer industries limited where he worked for 21 years starting as a Sales Supervisor and rising to the position of Chief Operations Officer.
From 2017, he was Executive Director of Zubacx, IT Technology vendor.
John was a devout Catholic. He lived his faith and was the epitome of the ‘good Samaritan’.
John was a humble larger-than-life man with a kind heart. He was known for his quirky sense of humour, his infectious smile, and compassionate spirit.
John was born with the gift of the gab and was very learned. He was a good conversationalist and liked to debate and discuss ideas. He had a lot of friends from all walks of life. He loved people and always felt at home in many situations. He was a man of the people and a pillar in his family and Community.
He was a great and loving father; his sons were his life. He has an adopted daughter who was the apple of his eye.
John was proud to be Kumam and he wanted so much to give back to his community. He was involved in local community education and economic empowerment initiatives including Kabersolot, Isoma ber and Palma Foundation.
John was preceded in death by his father, Christopher, his mother Esther, his sisters Bernadette, Helen and Jennipher. He is survived by his wife Evelyn, two sons, two brothers, four sisters, two nephews, a niece and several cousins, aunts, uncles; and an extended family of relations and friends.
John belongs to two large Kumam Clans – The Igoria and Atek clans from Kaberamaido District.
We were blessed to have had John in our lives and we give thanks to God for his life. We learnt many valuable lessons from John during his 53 years. He will forever be missed but his legacy will live on.
Thank you all for joining us in celebrating his life. We pray he is with the angels in heaven.
Thursday 18th March 2021: There will be Requiem Mass at Namugongo Catholic Shrine at 11 00am and thereafter Vigil at the Late’s home in Kiwanga.
Friday 19th March 2021: Body leaves Kiwanga for Kaberamaido, Mass at Gwetom Catholic Church, Kaberamaido at 2. 00pm. Vigil thereafter at the ancestral home in Olelai, Kaberamaido.
Saturday 20th March 2021: Burial at Olelai-Kaberamaido beginning with speeches at 10.00am and Mass at 12.00Noon.