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Viewing, memorial planned today for Ran O'Dell, 41

SAN DIEGO -- The community is invited to gather today to remember the life of Ran O'Dell, a popular member of San Diego's LGBT community, during two events being held this afternoon and evening. O'Dell, 41, was found dead last week, according to friends, with the cause of death unknown at this time, pending a report from the Medical Examiner's Office.

Today's events will include a viewing at Goodbody Mortuary, followed by a gathering at Martini's Above Fourth, in which the restaurant's weekly "Musical Monday" event will be dedicated to O'Dell.

O'Dell had a long history of involvement in San Diego's LGBT community, working in numerous bars and restaurants around town, including Bourbon Street Bar & Grill. He also supported numerous charities, including Development in Gardening (DIG).

According to his Facebook page, O’Dell most recently worked at Casa de Luz restaurant in North Park.

News of O’Dell’s untimely death was shocking to friends and loved ones, including his mother Judi Bradley O’Dell of Groton, Conn., who took to Facebook to share memories of her son.

“When Ran attended Sacred Heart School, he wore a uniformed clip-on navy blue tie. Every year, I would purchase three new ties at the beginning of the school year. When he was in 6th grade, one weekend, I noticed there were 10 blue ties in the laundry. He told me that when a student forgot his tie they had to rent a tie for the day from the office for 50 cents. He took some of his saved money and purchased extra ties and rented a tie for 25 cents. Also, in order to keep tuition costs down, the school had fund raisers throughout the year. Ran won top prize several years in a row selling candy bars. He would put on his dress shirt and tie and knock on doors and with his charm and beautiful smile would sell 1,000 candy bars in one week.

Other friends also shared memories and tributes to O’Dell:

Dylan Jones: Had the pleasure of meeting Ran in Dallas, in the 90's, waayyy back in the day. Always a super nice guy and full of life. And then got to work together at Hulas here in SD. I'm a bit shocked with this news. He will be missed.

Christian James Cocca: You had a beautiful son Ms. Odell. Both inside and out. All our prayers and thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
Loara Parker: I remember Ran at Burbon st and how he always had such manners and Southern hospitality. Our prayers are with you and your family Ran, I hate it that he always takes the good ones.....be good till I get there.

Sarah Holstrom: A beautiful smile, bright kind eyes, an inspirational personality and just an overall incredible soul! I'll miss the conversations and the good laughs and the great memories, especially from Bourbon St. Miss you friend.

Shaun Flak: Not only was Ran a friend, he was someone I confided to as I was starting my first job as a manager in the restaurant business. He was someone I could trust to shoot me straight and keep me honest. Many times he was my rock that kept me going. I will never forget those years!

Kevin P. Vasquez: I met Ran when he moved to San Diego and was working at Bourbon Street. He lived next to me, which happened to be right across from Bourbon - and got to know him quite well. He was funny, witty and knew how to pour a mean drink. He had the most beautiful eyes and always had that amazing smile. RIP my friend - you will not be forgotten.

The viewing at Goodbody Mortuary will take place today from 3 to 8 pm, with the gathering at Martini’s Above Fourth beginning at 6 pm.

Those who wish to make a donation in O’Dell's name may contribute to two organizations that were close to his heart, DIG and The Trevor Project.

Goodbody Mortuary is located at 5027 El Cajon Blvd. and Martini’s Above Fourth is located at 3940 Fourth Ave.

More information is available HERE.