Otis, aged 96, passed peacefully into the arms of his God at the Assured Health home on December 16th. Tyson, Emilie and Allison, of Assured Health, provided excellent care and comfort for Otis during his last two years of life. While under their care, Otis became one of their family. His sense of humor was constant, always making them laugh with his outlook on things.
Otis was born to Lawrence Andrew and Inez Odessa Gooder Anderson on May 17, 1917 in Murdo, South Dakota. His parents moved the family west to Oregon when he was a young boy. He was raised and attended school in Grants Pass. After graduation, he went to Klamath Falls, where he met the love of his life, Alice Greene. He was a brakeman on the railroad when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in October of 1942. April 6, 1943, while on furlough, Otis and Alice were married. After 38 months of service, Otis was home to stay. He and Alice had their first son, Arnie, in 1947. When Arnie was one year old, they moved to Keizer and started the Keizer Cleaners, which they owned and operated from December 1, 1948 until 1960. The birth of their second son, Ron, in 1955 completed their family.
The home Otis built on Verda Lane overlooked Ferrill’s Nursery on Chemawa Road. The acreage was perfect for completing their dream of building a ‘trailer park’. The park later became known as Rainbow Gardens Mobile Village. Otis maintained the mobile park and Alice kept the books. The two of them operated the park until 2010, at which time they turned the park operations over to their sons. Rainbow Gardens remains in operation today, over 50 years after their dream came true.
Upon moving to Keizer in 1948, Otis became part of a group of Keizer businessmen who began to collect funds for the purchase of a fire engine, thus the beginning of Keizer Fire Department. He continued to work as a volunteer fireman for nearly three decades, retiring from the firefighter business in 1976. He was voted fireman of the year in 1972.
Otis held the position of Worshipful Master of the Keizer Masonic Lodge. He liked bowling, golf and vacations with his family. He worked hard all his life, with every endeavor reflecting his ideals.
He is survived by two sons, Arnie and his wife Linda of Salem, Ron and wife Connie of Keizer; four grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, ten step-great grandchildren and four step-great great grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Otis was preceded in death by Alice, his wife of 68 years, grandson Paul and three brothers. He was loved by his family and many friends and will be missed by all.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Restlawn Cemetery Chapel (201 Oak Grove Rd NW, Salem, OR) January 11, 2014 at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to the American Diabetes Association.