John Burrell Otis, M.D., age 86, passed away on January 2, 2023. John was born on March 6, 1936, in Chicago, Illinois, to the late George Leslie Otis, and Helen Elizabeth Dooley, Known as Betty.
In 1945, John’s father was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia, to be the southeastern regional operations manager of Sears. John and his parents lived in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. John attended E. Rivers Elementary School and North Fulton High School. He graduated from North Fulton High School in 1954. John then went to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. While at Vanderbilt he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He graduated with a BS degree from Vanderbilt University in 1958 with honors. He went on to attend Vanderbilt University Medical School. He was selected as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical fraternity as a junior, one of only 3 in his class of 104. He graduated from Vanderbilt Medical School in 1962.
After completing medical school, John served as an intern in Anatomical Pathology in 1962-1963, and a resident in Anatomical Pathology 1963-1964. He continued his training at Duke University Hospital as a Clinical Pathology resident from 1964-1966. He then was awarded a year’s fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, New York from 1966-1967.
In 1967, John was selected to be Assistant Director of the Clinical Laboratory at the National Institutes of health in Bethesda, Maryland. He entered the United States Public Health Service as a commissioned officer and served two years in this capacity.
Following his two years at the NIH, John entered the private practice of Pathology at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta. He joined a group of three other pathologists in the practice in 1969.
John was especially interested in the pathology of bones. He gathered an extensive collection of microscopic slides of bone diseases, and was frequently consulted as an expert in this area. He continued the practice of pathology until his retirement in May 1999.
John married Anne Josephine Sandidge in 1961. They had five children, Stephanie Petersen (Eric) of St. Louis, Missouri, Sharlene Elizabeth Martin (Jeff) of Purcellville, Virginia, John Burrell, Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia, Barrett Leslie (Tessa) of Asheville, North Carolina, Jennifer Leigh Otis; ten grandchildren, Timothy, Matthew and Kristen Petersen, Zachary, Erin and Lori Martin, John Burrell Otis III and Caroline Otis, Leslie and Elias Otis.
He then married Virginia Gail Otis, and became a stepfather to Patrick Fairchild and Gini Sewell (Travis) and step grandfather to Jack, Charlie and Sam Sewell.
John was a devout Christian, and a member of the Tabernacle Baptist Church Lakemont, Georgia.
A Celebration of life was held on January 7, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Lakemont, Georgia
The family requests that donations be made to Tabernacle Baptist Church, 6467 Highway 441 South Lakemont, Georgia 30552-1820 in memory of John Burrell Otis.
Beck Funeral Home, in Clayton, Georgia, is in charge of the arrangements. If there are any questions, please call 706-782-9599. An online Memorial Register Book is available at www.beckfuneralhome.com.