Otis, Constance Shepard June 23, 1919 - January 28, 2013 Connie grew up in St. Paul, the daughter of Roger B. and Katherine K. Shepard. As a young girl, she attended Summit School in St. Paul, and continued her education at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. In January 1942, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Connie married Henry Gaylord Dillingham of Honolulu, Hawaii. In July 1945, as a commander of a squadron of B-29 bombers over Japan, his plane was lost to anti-aircraft fire. Connie returned to St. Paul to live with her parents. She became interested in local politics, and was a Minnesota delegate to the 1956 Republican National Convention which nominated Dwight D. Eisenhower for a second term. Later she became closely involved in the 1960 gubernatorial campaign of Elmer L. Andersen, and from January 1961 to December 1962 Connie served as the Minnesota State Chairwoman of the Republican Party. She maintained a lifelong involvement in programs designed to increase the role of women in politics. In 1972, Connie married Minnesota State Supreme Court Justice James C. Otis. They enjoyed a very happy life together until his death in 1993. Throughout her life she provided generous support, and served on the boards of a wide range of social service, arts, and educational organizations. She will be remembered for her generosity, kindness and grace. Connie was preceded in death by her brothers, Roger B. Shepard, Jr. and Blake Shepard. She is survived by her brother, Stanley Shepard and his wife, Lucy; stepchildren, Emily Wurtz of Chevy Chase, MD; J. Duncan Otis of Minneapolis; and Todd H. Otis of Minneapolis. Connie is also survived by 12 devoted nieces and nephews and by a large group of extended family members and friends. At Connie's firm request, there will be no memorial service. Gifts may be made in her memory to the Neighborhood House, 179 Robie St. E., St. Paul, MN 55107 or the YWCA of St. Paul, 375 Selby Av., St. Paul, MN 55102. Connie's family wishes to express profound gratitude to the caregivers, past and present, of Lifesprk in Minneapolis who contributed so significantly to her quality of life over the past three years.
Published in Star Tribune from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, 2013