Otis Carrington Drew
Otis Carrington Drew, of Ithaca, NY left this life peacefully on Wednesday, September 23, 2015. Otis, the son of Otis Theodore Drew and Vera Adeline Carrington was also preceded in death by his beloved wife, June Elizabeth Young Drew, his daughter Ruth Aleta Drew Wells, and his sister Eileen Raymond. Otis is survived by his beloved wife, Olive Drew Pass, his brother, Wilfred Drew Sr., and his Children: David Otis Drew, Elizabeth June Drew Tate, Arthur Lee Drew, Steven Rodney Drew, and Janet Darlene Drew Brockman. Otis is also loved and cherished by many sons and daughters in law, and many more grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews.
Otis was born in Ithaca, NY on October 3, 1923. Otis grew up on a farm just west of Ithaca. His children have enjoyed many stories of Otis' youth in that time and place. His family was fortunate during the depression, since they lived on a farm and always had food to eat. For that reason, cousins of similar age would often live with his family, so that they would be fed. He also told stories of riding bobsleds down Culver Street, Bostwick Road, and Buffalo Street Hill. Riders would be taken to the top by horse drawn sled.
Otis attended elementary school in a one room school house on west hill and high school in the building that is now the Dewitt Mall. He worked on shop projects in the location now known as Moosewood Restaurant.
After high school, Otis worked on a farm in Richfield Springs, NY and fell in love with the beautiful daughter of the farmer next door. June waited for Otis while he served as a Marine for three years. During this time, Otis served in Guadalcanal, was very skilled at using a new technology called RADAR used to aim anti-aircraft machinery, and survived malaria. Otis and June were married on Veteran's Day in 1945.
Otis reenlisted in the Navy and served an honorable career. He became an educator of electronics, and remembers most fondly the time he served as Chief Master at Arms on the USS Simone Lake. Otis took to heart his responsibility to positively affect the lives of his young sailors. Most of his stories were told with dry eyes, but tears fell as he related the story of a big, red headed, young sailor who after spending time in the brig, told Otis, “You are the first person who ever cared about me.”
After retiring from the Navy, Otis and his family returned to Ithaca, built a home, and lived on a piece of land that used to be part of the farm where he was raised. During this time he served the Ithaca School District as a bus driver. He learned the names of all his riders and is remembered fondly by them as well.
During his retirement, as a tribute to his father, who worked building the Thomas Morse Scout, Otis built a half size model of the airplane which now hangs in the Tompkins County Airport. Otis also enjoyed gardening and grew most of what was needed to feed his family during this time. He enjoyed serving and helping others. He served in many capacities first in the United Methodist Church, and later in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For many years, he baked delicious desserts every Monday for Loaves and Fishes.
After the passing of his beloved wife of 62 years, he fell deeply in love with their long time family friend, Olive Pass. At the age of 86, he married Olive Pass who was then 90. They have enjoyed seven years of wedded bliss.
Less than two months before his death, his posterity gathered and enjoyed a family reunion with their beloved patriarch.
He was an officer and a gentleman and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
A funeral service will be held at 11 am, Saturday, September 26th, at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 319 Pennsylvania Ave., Trumansburg, NY. Burial, with Military Honors, will follow at Greensprings Natural Cemetery. Lansing Funeral Home is assisting the family.