Loretta Otis, 87, died on October 18, 2019, in the loving arms of her four
daughters- Margy, Maura, Molly and Brigit. She is also survived by her son-inlaws,
significant others, 11 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, extended
family and too many friends to count. She was born Loretta Nacey in Amery,
Loretta's life was a model of resilience and transformation. She endured
a difficult childhood and came to Ashland at age 18 to attend Northland College.
She was intent on starting a new life as "Laurie".
Laurie met and married Bill Otis after one year at Northland. She spent
the next twenty years being a "1950's" housewife, helping Bill make his career
dreams come true, raising their girls, and being the loving backbone of the
family. Laurie then returned to Northland and completed her degree in her
mid-forties. A twenty five year career at WITC followed-as a librarian, teacher,
and PR person.
In retirement Laurie was finally able to focus on herself and blossom. She
found extreme satisfaction in both writing and theatre. She authored and
published three books, a hundred articles and short stories, and participated in
scores of theatre events-her last role on stage was less than two months ago.
Laurie was a colorful character who changed with the times. She was an
inspiration and best friend to her daughters and many others. "I just love your
mom" was a phrase we heard many times from many people. We don't know
what we'll do without her. She leaves us with her ginger cookie recipe, her
irreverent humor, the storytelling gene, and countless memories. It is our hope
that she has transferred to us, her four daughters, the resilience to transform
ourselves into the matriarchs of our own families.
A memorial service and celebration of life is being planned around her
January 21st birthday.