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1951 Odete 2017

Odete Estes

July 6, 1951 — March 29, 2017

Odete Parucci Estes was born in Martinópolis, Brazil on July 6, 1951. She was the first of five children born to Osvaldo and Aparecida in a loving, Catholic home. They moved to the city of São Paulo when Odete was two, where the family still lives today. Her American adventure began when at age 14, she moved to Los Angeles to live with her uncle and aunt to attend high school. She learned English after her arrival, excelling in academics and sewing.

In 1969 during her senior year at Belmont High School, her aunt introduced her to a nice young sailor from Alabama. That summer, she married Mike Estes and soon moved to the Atlanta area where she held odd jobs while he worked construction before the two settled in Rockmart. Four years later, they welcomed daughter Cristine and then Lori, her first students. Despite the long distance, Odete kept close ties with her growing Brazilian family, visiting whenever they could.

In 1994, she became a citizen of the U.S. and maintained dual citizenship thereafter.
Always industrious, Odete woke up with the sun and made the most of every day. She loved gardening, cooking, sewing and music. As a stay-at-home mom, she shared her talents by sewing for the community—from curtains to wedding dresses. Odete took pride in everything she did. Her passion was teaching, and she started as a full-time paraprofessional while taking college classes at night to earn her first degree. During her 28-year career as a Spanish teacher, she worked in Bremen, Rockmart, Rome, and Cedartown at all levels from pre-school to college.

Shortly after becoming grandparents in 2003, Odete and Mike moved to Cedartown in a house she chose mainly for the flowers that came with it! Most of her retirement was spent outdoors, tending to her flowerbeds, yard, and fish pond while enjoying coffee with Mike on the patio. “Nona” was a doting grandmother, spoiling her four grandchildren without limitation. From climbing trees to making doll clothes, she was an active part of their lives. Rarely could Odete go anywhere in the community without seeing former students who shared their gratitude for her devotion to teaching. Odete also loved going on new adventures with her best friend Kathy Lindsey by her side.

In the summer of 2015, Odete enjoyed a wonderful visit to Brazil. That fall, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She fought valiantly, outperforming all doctors’ expectations. Her long battle ended on March 29 when she peacefully passed away at home, surrounded by family. She is survived by Mike, her husband of 47 years; daughters and sons-in-law, Cristine and Tom Schulz and Lori and Norman Smith; grandchildren Anna-Lauren Smith, Natalie Schulz, Julia Schulz, and Sam Smith; her parents Osvaldo and Aparecida; her siblings Vandercio, José, Floripes, and Vanderlei; and seven nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends Friday March 31, 2017 from 6:00 until 8:00 in the evening at The Smith & Miller Funeral Home. Those desiring to make gifts in her honor are invited to make contributions to Cancer Navigators Inc., 3 Central Plaza, Suite 415, Rome, Georgia 30161.

The funeral service for Odete Estes will be conducted Saturday April 1, 2017 at 1:00 PM in the chapel of Smith & Miller Funeral Home with Rev. Mike Broome officiating. The interment will follow in Northview Cemetery.

The following gentlemen will serve as pallbearers: C.L. Carter, Jr., Jason Carter, Billy Fagan, Dustin Lindsey, Greg Lindsey, and Jonathan Lindsey.

The Smith and Miller Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Mrs. Odete Estes.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Odete Estes, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, March 31, 2017

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Interment will follow in Northview Cemetery.

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