Ronald D Otts Sr.
July 8, 1935 – March 10, 2018
Ronald Dean Otts, Sr. of Pace, FL passed away Saturday, March 10, 2018 after suffering a stroke. Ron was a man of many words and lots of laughs.
Ron was born on July 8, 1935 to Lucille Otts in Mobile, Alabama. He spent his childhood in Grove Hill, Alabama and then moved to Defuniak Springs, Florida where he attended Walton County High School and graduated in 1954. He went on to attend Florida State University where he played football and got up to a lot of no good. In 1954 he married his first wife, Carol. Upon taking a break from college in 1958 he was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War, where he was stationed in Germany. During this time he was blessed with the birth of his first daughter, Lisa, and a chance meeting with Elvis Presley, who was serving his time in the Army, as well.
After serving four years in the Army, Ron returned to the states where his second daughter, Linda, was born, and he and Carol took up residence in Pensacola, Florida, where Ron worked in the Chem Lab at Monsanto. Some years later he and Carol decided to divorce, however, they remained in contact while raising their girls and later settled into friendship. In 1974 he married the love of his life, Peggy Jean Pelham and in 1980 Ron and Peggy gave birth to Ronald Dean Otts, Jr. Shortly thereafter Ron and Peggy took up residence in Pace, Florida, to raise Ronnie and look after Peggy’s parents. Ron retired from Monsanto and turned a lifelong passion for photography into a career. After many portraits and weddings, a bad knee was no longer able to support the physical demands of Ron’s work as a photographer so he then segued into Private Investigations until the gradual loss of his eyesight caused him to retired in 1998.
During the 80’s and 90’s, Ron and Ronnie were very involved in Boy Scout Troop 451. They spent many weekends hiking and camping across the southeastern U.S. Ronnie went on to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, and Ron continued to stay involved in scouts as a member of the council and scoutmaster at the Boy Scout camp in Defuniak Springs.
Sadly, Peggy passed away of terminal brain cancer in 2004. In 2010 Ron moved in with Ronnie and his family as his eyesight was no longer strong enough for him to safely remain living independently. This was such a blessing, though, as he got to spend every day with two of his grandchildren, which lit up his world.
Ron is survived by his daughter Lisa Depriest (Sharon Jones), of Ashland City, Tennessee; daughter Linda Quinn (Chuck), of Pensacola, granddaughter Christen Combs (Derek Alred), great-grandsons Zack Combs and Max Alred, granddaughter Coral Perniciaro (Mike), great-granddaughters Isabella and Emma Perniciaro, granddaughter Lauren Maxie (Nick), great-grandchildren Hawk and Luna Maxie; and son Ronnie Otts, Jr. (Jennifer), of Pace, and grandchildren Vivian and Dean Otts.