Obituary for Mr. Lee Otts

Published 5:22 pm Thursday, July 9, 2015

Lee McMillan Otts, 93, of Poplar Avenue, Brewton,  passed away Wednesday morning, July 8, 2015, in a local hospital after brief illness.

Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon, July 10,  at 1 p.m., at the Brewton First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Jim Baird, the Rev. Rob Oates, and the Rev. Parker Johnson officiating. Reception following funeral service in the church fellowship hall. Private family interment will be held in Union Cemetery Brewton with Williams Funeral Home directing.

He was born May 21, 1922, in Greensboro and was preceded in death by his parents, Archiebald Bruce McEachin Otts and Elizabeth McMillan Otts of Greensboro, and his sister, Elizabeth Otts Bird, (Jim) of Forkland, Ala.

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He is survived by his wife, Mary Frances Byrd Otts, and four daughters, Harriett Godwin (Mike), Beth Sutton, and Mary Lee Watson, all of Brewton, and Frances Maxwell (Chip) of Nashville, Tenn.; six grandchildren, Elizabeth Godwin Wilson (John) and Mary Godwin Menge (Radcliff) of Birmingham; Michael Godwin (Allison) of Montgomery, David Maxwell (Liz) and Lauren Maxwell of Nashville, and Emmalee Sutton of Pensacola, Fla.; and four great grandchildren, Riley, Mary Pace and Currey Elizabeth Godwin of Montgomery and Lee Wilson of Birmingham.

He attended Greensboro High School and graduated as valedictorian of his high school class. He attended the University of Alabama and obtained a degree in chemical engineering and a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He was inducted into the army in 1943, and in 1944 as a second lieutenant he was deployed to France as part of the 26th Infantry Yankee Division 328th Regiment of Patton’s 3rd Army and obtained the rank of Captain. He was twice wounded in battle and earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He kept a journal during the war which was later published as part of G Company’s War.

After the war Lee Otts returned to the University of Alabama and obtained his law degree. While there, in 1948 he married Mary Frances Byrd of Wilmington, N.C.,  whom he had met in England where she was serving as a Red Cross volunteer during the war. The couple moved to Brewton where he founded the law practice that today is the firm Otts, Moore, Coale, Godwin and Stearns.

While practicing law and raising his four daughters he served as County Solicitor and Inferior Court Judge. He later served as attorney for Escambia County for 35 years. His was active in the community as president of Brewton City Board of Education, president of the Escambia County Bar Association and member of the Brewton Rotary Club.

He served as elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Brewton, and in 2013 was honored for more than 40 years of service as an elder in the Presbyterian Church of America. He loved to travel and in 2009 participated in the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. He was an avid golfer and proud of his three holes in one at the Brewton Country Club. He was most proud of his family and loved to talk about his grandchildren and great grandchildren. His family will remember him as a man of honor and integrity who led by example and in all ways was a true gentleman.

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