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Published September 12, 2012, 09:08 PM

Famous aviator laid to rest in front of friends and family

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - He was a pilot, a mentor and a friend to thousands. In his 66-years, Bob Odegaard touched the lives of many throughout the world.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - He was a pilot, a mentor and a friend to thousands. In his 66-years, Bob Odegaard touched the lives of many throughout the world.

Today, he was laid to rest in front of hundreds of his closest friends and family.

Bob Odegaard wore many hats in his life: Airplane mechanic, teacher, entrepreneur, musician, and even briefly, reality-TV star.

And as we heard today, he will be remembered as nothing short of a legend among the entire Aviation community.

As Bob Odegaard was laid to rest, tears streamed down the faces of those closest to him. A 21-gun salute for the Army Reserve veteran and a somber flyover including the Missing Man Fly-By for the father of three.

Hundreds attended the services in Kindred to remember the husband, father and friend.

Lyle Andvik, College Roommate and Close Friend: “He was not only my first instructor, he was my best instructor over the 40 years. He was a good friend, a great mentor, just a wonderful guy.”

Tom Kenville, Close Friend: “I had unconditional love for Bob, there's nothing I wouldn't do for him and nothing he wouldn't do for me.”

Afterwards, a celebration of Bob Odegaard's life at the Fargo Air Museum where he served as one of four founding board members.

Kenville: “He probably has affected more than 50,000 people in his lifetime. My own grandson met him, and he said ‘Grandpa, that's like meeting Jeter and A-Rod on the same day.’”

To the outside world he was known as a legend in aviation. A brilliant mechanic and inventor who could restore any plane piece by piece from the ground up. He even used his talents to compete on three episodes of The Learning Channel's Junkyard Wars in 2003 with former North Dakota Governor Ed Shafer.

Former Governor Ed Shafer, Friend and Teammate: “If you knew him for five minutes or knew him for five years, he was your friend.”

But ultimately, Bob Odegaard will be remembered not only as an aviator, but more importantly, as a mentor, a friend, and a truly remarkable person.

Andvik: “Lot of people look up to him and he's done such a great job promoting aviation throughout the whole country and throughout the whole world.”

Shafer: “Bob was one of the most kind and honorable people that you could ever run across.”

Kenville: “Goodbye Bob, and you noticed, I looked up.”

Bob is survived by his wife, Donna, sons, Brady and Case, and daughter, Halley.

All of his children are currently in the aviation industry.

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