Joseph Otis

Joseph M. Otis

Wednesday, September 26th, 1934 - Tuesday, May 19th, 2020
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Joseph M. Otis, 85, of Coldwater, passed away Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at Maple Lawn Medical Care Facility with his daughters at his side.
A Memorial Mass will be held Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 12 Noon at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Coldwater with Rev. Fr. Dan Hyman officiating. Interment will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Thursday, July 2, prior to the service, from 10-11:45AM at Dutcher Funeral Home in Coldwater. The family is requesting visitors to wear masks.
Joe was born September 26, 1934 in Coldwater, MI, to Raymond and Bernice (Hackenberger) Otis. He married Marilyn Gottschalk on May 26, 1956 in Coldwater. She preceded him in death on December 16, 2019.
As a child, Joe attended St. Charles Catholic School and later graduated from Coldwater High School. Joe started working at a young age. When he wasn’t selling corn cobs for extra money, he was busy traveling with his singing group, the Manhattan Trio. At age 22, Joe found his true passion and began a long career with the Coldwater Fire Department, advancing to Captain and retiring as Assistant Chief in 1992. On his days off from the fire department, Joe worked for both Wolf’s Floor Covering and Lodge’s, where he installed carpet and tile. Upon his retirement, he continued working as a fire and mechanical inspector where he inspected day cares, schools, camps, and residential facilities.
While Joe dedicated his life to his work, he was also a skilled gardener and wood worker. He enjoyed spending time with his family and his friends, and was known by the community for his story telling, including his weekly special interest column in the Daily Reporter titled, “Coldwater Remembered”, where he shared his experiences from the mid-1900s. Joe was incredibly active in his community. He was a member of the Kiwanis, including acting as President from 1972-1973. He was also a member of the Mechanical Inspectors Association of MI, serving as President from 1998-1999 and being awarded both Inspector of the Year in 2004 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2014. Joe was a senior member of the National Fire Protection Association. His extensive service was recognized at the state level, earning him a special tribute from Governor Engler in 1992.
Joe is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law Michelle (Mark) Kinsey of Adrian, Jody (Thomas) Olmstead of Coldwater, his grandchildren Amy (Shane) Brayton of Ann Arbor, Kelly (Nicholas) Dillman of Saline, Griffin Kinsey of Adrian, Bill Kinsey of Coldwater, Jolie Kinsey of Spring Lake, his great grandchildren Sophie and Rowan Brayton, Finn and Freya Dillman, and Kai Kinsey. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his son, Michael Otis and his brother, Gene Otis.
Memorials may be directed to Branch County Historical Society and the Branch County Humane Society.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:45am
    Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 10:00am - 11:45am
    Dutcher Funeral Home
    440 W. Chicago St.
    COLDWATER, MI 49036
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    The family is requesting visitors to wear a mask.
  • Service

    Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 | 12:00pm
    Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 12:00pm
    St. Charles Borromeo Church
    150 Taylor Street
    COLDWATER, MI 49036
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    The church requests visitors to wear a mask.
    Rev. Fr. Dan Hyman
  • Interment

    Oak Grove Cemetery
    809 W. Chicago St.
    COLDWATER, MI 49036
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Tonya Gleeson

Posted at 09:35pm
Michelle, Jodi and families I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I have alot of fond memories of him ! Hugs to you both.

Richard Sherman

Posted at 09:55pm
I had the pleasure of working with Joe for many years at the fire department. He had a keen sense of humor and was a terrific storyteller. It is so sad that he has left us. Joe was a good man! RIP

Rich and Joan Sherman

Janet Lane

Posted at 09:51am
Oh this is so sad. So many memories! So much fun during holiday celebrations at theIr pool! Marilyn and Joe were so loved. They truly will be missed. They were fun loving people and we loved them very much. God bless the family. RIP Marilyn and Joe. You are together again❤️❤️

Walt and Janet Lane

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