Howard "Buzz" OtisJune 29, 1953 ~ May 27, 2017 (age 63)
Howard Amos Otis “Buzz” age 63
Buzz was born June 29th, 1953, in Milford, MI, the son of Howard and Mary Otis. He went to be with the Lord after passing in a bush plane accident on the Salcha River, May 27th, 2017. Buzz grew up and attended high school in Charlevoix MI, then attended Michigan State University, graduating with a degree in Turf Management. Buzz came to Alaska” for a few months:” in 1975 for an adventure and exploration and decided to call Alaska home. He worked on the Alaska Pipeline. In 1976 he started Great Northwest Landscaping. In 1978 he met the love of his life Renee and they were married June 13th 1981 in Fairbanks, AK. He built and maintained the first private rugby pitch in the state of Alaska. Many remember it as Buzz’s Rugby World. From 1982 thru 1988 he served on the borough assembly, and as presiding officer, helping pass the vote to build the Carlson Center. He also served on the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, Fairbanks Economic Development Corp., The Oil Support Industry Alliance, and the North Pole Economic Development Corp. For the last several years he has been the primary organizer and fund raiser of The North Pole Championship Sled Dog Races. Buzz loved to see the children race and when he learned their organization was dwindling, he helped found the Junior Dog Mushers of Interior Alaska. With the help of several parents he organized and served on the board. Buzz always said his drive to put on these races was the children and their big smiles. He was also his son Ben’s right hand man at their construction company, Better Way Construction, LLC. He was truly an entrepreneur and he loved business and building. Although his business endeavors were long, it was his passion to give back to the community that he belonged to.
Buzz had a life-long love of hunting and fishing which he imparted upon his children through many hunting and fishing trips; including exploring and fishing Prince William Sound, and deer hunting in Kodiak Island and South East Alaska with his family and many friends. No matter where he explored, he was always amazed by Gods beauty.
Buzz touched many lives with his core values of compassion, generosity, and integrity. His known and unknown acts of kindness were numerous. He will be remembered fondly by those who knew him, and his entire family, particularly his loving wife and children who will miss him greatly. He was his children’s biggest fan, watching many hockey, soccer, volleyball, and basketball games which he attended with a loud voice and great enthusiasm.
Buzz was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his sisters; Sharon Cronk, Cheboygan MI, and Tiller Landick (Gregg), Perry, MI. His loving wife and partner of 39 years, Renee Webb Otis, children Ben Otis and favorite daughter in-law Olivia Otis, Patrick Otis, and Jenna Otis, all of North Pole, AK. Also surviving are his many nieces and nephews, and brother and sister in-laws, all of whom he truly loved.
A Memorial Service celebrating Buzz’s life will be held on Saturday June 10th, 4pm, at North Pole Worship Center, 3340 Badger Rd. North Pole, Alaska. All who knew him are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, family requests donations in Buzz’s name be made to Catholic Schools of Fairbanks at catholic-schools.org/donate.
Arrangements were entrusted to Blanchard Family Funeral Home, 907-482-3232 blanchardfamilyfuneralhome.com