Morrison Ibibo Oduye
COLUMBIA — Dr. Morrison Ibibo Oduye was an intelligent and devout man who stood firm in his beliefs. He instilled these beliefs in his children, even when that meant coercing his daughter, Tamunoemi Amy Osbon, out of bed early on Sunday mornings to go to church with him.
“It didn’t matter if you went to bed at 4 a.m.,” Osbon said. “You were getting up at 6 a.m. and you were going to church with him.”
Dr. Oduye of Columbia died on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. He was 78.
He was born on May 14, 1933, in Nigeria and always wanted to return, his daughter said, but his sickness kept him from doing so. He was the only surviving child of his family and a descendant of an influential chief, Romeo Abbey.
He studied in France, London and the University of Missouri to complete his doctorate. He taught his children the value of education and faith in their lives, which Osbon said was something she had trouble appreciating until she had her own child.
Dr. Oduye was a strong, intelligent and humble man, Osbon said. He donated generously to several charities and kept a book of quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt, Walter Bagehot, Philip Sidney and others. Even when he was battling kidney failure and prostate cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2000, he was still positive, Osbon said.
“He was a very motivated person; he never took no for an answer, he never said he could not do it,” Osbon said. “Even though he was struggling, he always had a positive attitude about a lot of things.”
Dr. Oduye set an example for his children to work hard and keep their chins up. Even when he was ill and unable to work, he continued to preach the benefits of a strong faith and a good education to his children.
When Dr. Oduye was on his deathbed, he left Osbon a message in their native language.
“Again, he said, ‘You guys have to go to church,’” Osbon said. “He kept saying it until he couldn’t say it any more. He just believed in what he believed, you know, that made him who he is.”
His grandson, David Bruce “Bekinbo” Osbon Jr., seems to take after his grandfather intellectually, Osbon said. She is grateful for that and says she catches herself parenting him like her father parented her.
Osbon said Dr. Oduye's family is proud of him and his humble and devout attitude. He has left behind a legacy of strong individuals that are motivated to be high achievers and spread good in the world. His book of quotes has one in particular by John Lancaster Spalding that Osbon says sums up the attitude he had about life and raising his children:
"Each forward step we take we leave some phantom of ourselves behind."
He is survived by his children, Oduyeba Inkotariah of Texas, Tamunoemi Amy Osbon of Washington, and Flora Ibinabo Oduye, Miebaka Harold Oduye, Orusoso Adeleye, Romeo Oduye and Soseleipirim Omogbai, all of Nigeria; and his grandchildren, Sotonye Oduye, Karen Oduye, Divine Omogbai, Onoshiameh Omogbai, Damilola Adeleye, Joann Oduye, Osaye Oduye, Boma Oduye, Geoffery Dabibi Oduye, Tamunotonye Oduye Jr., Deborah Oduye and Korede Adeleye, all of Nigeria, and David Bruce “Bekinbo” Osbon Jr. of Washington.
Mr. Oduye's parents; four siblings; son, Biokpo Morrison Oduye; and daughter, Gloria Oduye died earlier.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the noon service on Sept. 3 at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Missouri Kidney Program, and condolences may be left online at www.memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.