Friends honor the men killed in the pipeline explosion

Site of the gas pipeline explosion in Lipscomb County that killed two men.

Thursday Pronews 7 had the opportunity to learn more about the two men from Pampa who died in the pipeline explosion in Darrouzett on Tuesday. We spoke with some of their friends who say they both will be missed.

Friends who knew 44-year-old Johnnie Renner called him Big John and he had a love for riding his motorcycle.

"Actually he didn't even have a car," said James Watson, friend of Johnnie.

Johnnie and 32-year-old Steven Odell or Doug as his friends knew him, were related. The two men were brothers-in-law. Both were killed in a gas line explosion, they were just feet away when a bulldozed hauling caliche hit the pipeline.

"My heart just broke. Especially for his kids because they are so young," said Jamie Almanza, family friend of Johnnie.

Johnnie carried that young spirit in his heart. Friends say you couldn't meet a more caring person.

"He'd just pick you up and shake your hand and hug ya give you a big bear hug, big ole' smile...and it didn't matter of he had just met you or if you had been a friend for life," said Almanza.

A life that was cut tragically short.

Almanza and her husband also coached Johnnie's kids.

"It has been really difficult cuz we taught his kids. My husband and I helped coach his kids in baseball when they were little. So we've known them for a long time, and Johnnie's always been a really good fun loving guy."

A guy who now will hold a legacy to family and friends who knew him.

"He is truly going to be very very missed by all of us. He's going to leave quite the legacy of love and consideration for people."

"I would hope that everybody would remember the good parts that he added to their lives. You know the happiness he brought. He's very outgoing always having fun, wanted to help wherever he could, you know. And I'd hope that they would remember him for that," said Watson.

Johnnie leaves behind a daughter and a son.

Doug Odell leaves behind a wife, three sons, a daughter, and a son who died at birth.

During our broadcast of this story Thursday night, we failed to mention Odell's daughter, and his son who died at birth. We apologize for this error, and it's the policy of Pronews 7 to admit to our mistakes and this is one of those circumstances.

Memorial services for the men have been planned.

Doug Odell's will be at 2:00 pm on Friday at Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Home in Pampa.

Memorial Service for Johnnie Renner will be at 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon at the Soldiers for Christ Fellowship in Skellytown.