COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - An Upstate South Carolina senator has passed away, according to a fellow senator.
Sen. Harvey Peeler confirmed the death of Sen. William O'Dell, 77, on Thursday during a yearly legislative workshop. Peeler said O'Dell passed away from a heart attack.
Lawmakers held a moment of silence for O'Dell during the workshop.
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O'Dell represented portions of the Upstate, including Abbeville, Anderson, and Greenwood counties.
O'Dell graduated from The Citadel in 1960. He was married to Aedra Gail Tisdale and had two children, William B. O'Dell and Patricia Michelle O'Dell.
Entering the Senate in 1989, O'Dell served on committees including finance and labor, commerce and industry. He also chaired the General Committee, a catch-all for special projects like the panel that investigated the Department of Social Services over the last two years.
The Citadel graduate was CEO of the O'Dell Corporation, a mop and broom manufacturing company.
Gov. Nikki Haley spoke briefly on O'Dell's passing on Thursday.
"He made South Carolina a better place," Haley said.