Washington, D.C. -
There is a time-old saying that one can either be respected or loved, but not both, and that leaders should always strive towards the former. As one of the most beloved and well-regarded leaders in our community, though, and as only Otis could, he manged to be both.
My family moved to Marietta in 1975 and, like so many families, we got to know the Brumbys through Marietta City schools. Our children were in the same grades, played on the same sports teams, and went to one another's birthday parties. One of our daughters, Phyllis, was particularly close to Betsy Brumby. They were, as we called it, "spend-the-night" friends. Just like he and Martha Lee, their children were respectful and well-liked by everyone. Their son, Otis III ("Little O") became the starting quarterback for the Marietta Blue Devils. My wife and I know how proud Otis and Martha Lee were on those Friday nights at Northcutt Stadium.
Otis was deeply involved in and steadfastly dedicated to Marietta schools. He was a staunch supporter of the Marietta School Board and, for a time, was a member himself. I began my political career on the Marietta School Board and have always admired his commitment to our local schools. In many ways--and for many reasons-- he inspired me.
As the editor of the Marietta Daily Journal, Otis was always fair and even-handed. When he identified a problem, he drew attention to it, regardless of party affiliation. When he shined a light on something, he always left the situation better than he found it. Otis always sought the truth, but in his quest for it, he still treated everyone well. Besides being fair to Republicans and Democrats alike, the diehard Dawgs fan even managed to be gracious to this Georgia Tech alum.
Our community mourns his loss alongside his wife, children, and beautiful grandchildren. Otis will be deeply missed. But we will honor his memory today and every day. Because of one man's rich life, we've all gained so much.