Tacoma News Tribune
Sunday, September 16, 1979
Reno Odlin, 82, retired board chairman of Puget Sound National Bank, died yesterday. The financier was president of the Tacoma bank for 36 years and was head of the American Bankers association. Services will be held Tuesday. Story, Page A-2.
Banker Reno Odlin succumbs
Reno Odlin, who had brought Tacoma's Puget Sound National Bank into the nation's top circle of financial institutions, died early yesterday. He was 82.
Odlin had been hospitalized with ill health for some time. He spent his last days this week in a Gig Harbor nursing home.
The son of a Sedro Woolley banker, Odlin had learned his profession in family banks but had made his mark on his own at an early age, earning appointments to national financial positions.
He came to Tacoma in 1936 as president of Puget Sound National Bank, a post he held for 36 years.
Although he was familiar with national and international banking figures, Odlin remained faithful to his adopted home of Tacoma, still headquarters of his banking empire.
Odlin had attended Princeton University and studied law at the University of Washington.
As a member of the Washington National Guard, Odlin saw service along the Mexican border in 1916. He went to France with the American Expeditionary Force and served as an infantry second lieutenant in the battles of the Marne and the Argonne.
While waitng to return to this country, Odlin attended a French university at Toulouse.
Back in America, Odlin joined the family banks in Sedro Woolley and Anacortes, but struck out on his own at a Seattle bank in 1928. He was with an Olympia bank in 1936 when "some old friends up here in Tacoma were looking for somebody to make something out of this bank," Odlin said in a 1973 interview. The bank, Puget Sound National, had $4 million in assets when Odlin took over. It had $400 million when he retired from its leadership.
Odlin served under nine United States Treasury secretaries as national Savings Bond chairman and nine years as a member of the Government Borrowing Committee.
Upon his retirement from the Savings Bond job in 1969, the Treasury Department gave him its Distinguished Service Award.
Odlin was a devotee of the balanced budget and sound financial management. As a spokesperson for the nation's banks and as president of the American Bankers Association, he warned of the danger of piling up federal deficits.
Odlin was a former member of the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco.
At the time of his death, he was a member of the board of directors and honorary chairman of Puget Sound National Bank; a director of Washington Natural Gas Co.; and a member of the board of trustees of Pacific First Federal Savings & Loan Association, Tacoma General Hospital and the University of Puget Sound.
He also was a member of the board of visitors of the UPS Law School.
Odlin is survived by his wife, Beatrice R., of the Tacoma home; two sons, Reno W. of Big Lake near Mount Vernon and Richard B. of Tacoma; a stepson, Neal Heston of Rosedale; a daughter, Mrs. Mary Lee Barovic of Auburn; and 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Edith Mary Murphy Odlin
1898–1964 (m. 1919)
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