Rainelle community comes together to honor the life of Odin Arnold

RAINELLE, WV (WOAY) – The Rainelle community is grieving after Odin Arnold, a local 9-year-old, died after being hit by a truck on Tuesday. Now, the community is coming together to honor his life.

“Odin was always energetic, always joyful,” Nicole Anderson, a family friend, said.  “He always had a huge smile on his face, and he always respected anybody in authority. He was just an all-around good kid.”

As a friend of the family, Anderson extends her love and prayers to them during this time.

Another way the community is extending their love is through a roadside memorial to help tell his story to those who didn’t know him and allow the people who did a place to reflect.

Alicia Sheppard, Odin’s fourth grade teacher at Rainelle Elementary, says he provided her classroom with a lot of laughs.

“On Fridays, the PTO always pops popcorn and one day, Odin brought in $20 for popcorn, and that will buy 40 bags,” Sheppard laughed. “And I called his mom because I was like, ‘Oh, she might hurt me if he comes home with that much popcorn.’ And she said it was his money, and he can spend it, but that day, he’s a walker, and that day he had two garbage bags full of popcorn walking home.”

And although Odin’s life was taken way too soon, the memory of him lives on in his friends, family and community.

“I just want people to know that he was a joyful boy, a happy boy. He had beautiful, red hair and a bright smile and eyes to match, and he just got along with everybody,” Sheppard said.

For the past two days, community members have been wearing green, his favorite color, in Odin’s honor.

Sheppard said she and school counselors have been available to students who need to talk.

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.