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Don Blaisdell Otis


1926 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Don Blaisdell Otis Obituary
Don Blaisdell Otis, retired teacher and former Headmaster at Burr and Burton Seminary, passed away July 19th, 2018 at home, surrounded by family and friends. Don resided in Manchester since 1951. He taught chemistry and physics at BBS for 29 years, and was acting Headmaster from 1977-1978. Among the highlights of his BBS career was serving as timekeeper for the 1958 basketball team when BBS won their first State Championship. In 1999, BBS Trustees conferred on Don the Joseph D. Wickham Award, "in grateful recognition for devoted service" to the school. In 2004 the Alumni Association gave him their First Annual Distinguished Faculty/Staff Award. He was honored in 2006 at BBA's First Annual Founder's Day. Following retirement in 1980 from Burr and Burton, Don was employed for 10 years at the Orvis Company. Mr. Otis was born in Dedham, MA on June 27th, 1926, the son of the late George B. and Frances A. (Taylor) Otis. He was a graduate of Hyde Park (MA) High School, Suffolk University, and Clarkson College of Technology. He also attended Lowell Technical Institute UNH, UVM, Dartmouth College, and Castleton State College. He served three years in the U.S. Navy during WWII as an Aviation Radioman 3/C, and also in the Naval Reserve. Don was a member of the Manchester Lions Club from 1966 on, serving as King Lion in 1971 and receiving the 100% President's Award in 1972. For many years he was either Chairman or a member of the Lions Club Scholarship Committee. He was made a Life Member in 1995 by Lions International and the local club. Additional community service included being Incorporator and first Board Chairman of the Northshire Senior Center; former Trustee and Vice President of United Counseling Service; First Congregational Church Chairman of the Board of Deacons and sang tenor in the choir; Registrar of the Selective Service Board; Assistant Coordinator and Instructor, RADEF, Civil Defense; Town Recreation Committee (8 years); officer of the Manchester PTA and the Vermont Retired Teachers Association; and Grand Marshall, with wife Nancy, at Manchester's 250th Anniversary Celebration. Don is survived by his daughter, Alison O. Watah; son-in-law Ralph Watah; grandchildren Hannah T. Watah and Ethan T. Watah, all of Klamath Falls, OR; Christian T. Solberg of Rye, NH; Erik O. Solberg of Charlotte, NC; great-grandsons Benjamin B. and William T. Solberg of Hampton, NH; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy H. (Tupper) Otis, whom he married on September 14th, 1946. Mrs. Otis passed away July 15th, 2011. He was also preceded in death by his daughter Melanie Tupper Otis in 2007, sisters Prudence O. Drummond and Priscilla O. Hanlon, brothers Malcolm, Kenneth, and Howard Otis. Extended family includes Meredith White, Corey MacAskill, Carrie Reed, and companion and caregiver Diana Wilson.

Interment with Military Honors will be held in the family plot in Dellwood Cemetery on Monday, July 30th, 2018 at 11am. The Reverend Claire Longtin North will officiate. A Celebration of Don's Life will be held Sunday July 29, 2018 from 2-4pm in the Rowland Center Cafeteria at Burr and Burton Academy. Former students and Manchester Lions Club members are especially invited to bring memories to share. Those who wish to remember Don B. Otis in a special way may send contributions to the Manchester Lions Club Scholarship Fund or Second Chance Animal Shelter, c/o Hanson-Walbridge & Shea Funeral Home, Arlington Chapel, P.O. Box 528, Arlington, VT 05250. To send the family personal condolences, please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.
Published in The Manchester Journal from July 27 to Aug. 17, 2018
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