Odis Dolton, A Legend, A Community Leader, A Humble Friend By Rev. Andrew L. Penns, Chairman – Interested Citizens of Abilene North
A reflection of Odis Dolton during his tenure working as Vice Chairman of (I-CAN), Interested Citizens of Abilene North.
Over 28 years ago I was introduced to a man by the name of Odis Dolton who lived with his wife, Pam, and children in the Carver neighborhood at 1414 Plum St.
He was a giant of a man yet gentle and soft spoken, from that day forward Odis and I became friends.
Odis as well as other residents in the Carver community were very concerned about the complaints that were voiced by the late Mrs. Gladys Abor. Those complaints in the area were crime related and lack of community pride.
As we began to address the problems that existed, Odis and other Carver residents felt the need to move forward to help turn an at-risk neighborhood around. Once (I-CAN) Interested Citizens of Abilene North, came into existence, Odis helped in getting the non-profit by-laws and the legal paperwork together to be filed with IRS. When we held our first election, Odis was voted in as the first Vice Chairman, and he held that position for many years.
Odis worked in helping to organize the neighborhood clean ups that were held twice a year. He also met with City and County officials. He helped obtain a permanent office for the association, worked with the committee in securing the Curtis House Cultural Center. Odis also played a role in starting the Heros Luncheon which recognizes individuals that have contributed to the mission of I-CAN. He also helped bridge the gap with other non-profits. Odis will be truly missed in the Neighborhood Associations, especially Interested Citizens of Abilene North, in the City of Abilene, and from among his peers. He was an example of what Community is all about.