The St. Charles County Veterans Museum lost a very dear friend when we learned of the passing of Odette Clotilde Georgette Bier Shaner on December 27th.
Odette served in the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) during World War II. She was secretary to the chief in the Cote d’Or Region, and an agent who passed on confidential information to the French underground from June 1944 until September 12, 1944. After Dijon was liberated, she met American soldier Elmer E. Shaner who became her husband on October 22, 1946. Elmer, who passed away in 2012, a decorated veteran with a 23-year Army career, was knighted by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands for taking part in rescue efforts during a catastrophic flood in 1953.
Just days before the COVID virus quarantine, we were honored to meet Odette at a local senior residence. She was a lively, engaging woman who spoke readily and knowledgeably about her experiences in France and America, and her life with her husband and their family.
Odette and Elmer’s love story is on exhibit at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum. You can read each of their exciting and touching memoirs on this website.