SARANAC LAKE - Clorice "Casey" (Case) Otis, 89, of 78 Will Rogers Drive, Saranac Lake, died Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at her home in Saranac Village at Will Rogers.
Born Clorice Harper Case in Little Valley on April 15, 1923, Casey was the daughter of Dean Joseph Case and Clorice Clothilde Harper Case (nee Shannon). Little Valley, known as the "Valley of Knives," was the founding home of Case Cutlery and Kinfolks Incorporated, of which Casey's father Dean was the major shareholder.
Casey graduated with a BA in English from the University of Michigan and was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, which resulted in a number of lifelong friendships. At Michigan she met her husband, Maurice "Maury" Bromley Otis of Horseheads. In 1944 they were married in Sioux Falls, S.D., where Maury was stationed with the U.S. Army Air Force prior to deployment to the Pacific Theater during World War II. They remained husband and wife for 66 years, until his passing on Jan. 3, 2011. Casey and Maury were both very proud of being a part of what Tom Brokaw hailed as "the Greatest Generation."
Casey also lived in Lake Clear and in Slingerlands, where she was an active member of her community. A devoted stay-at-home mother to her four children, Casey later worked for 10 years as office manager for Robert King, DDS. She was active in PTA, Home Bureau and the Women's Rosary Society of St. Thomas Church in Delmar, and served as a Cub Scout den mother. Her hospitality committee of the Rosary Society grew into a group of couples that called themselves the Happy Group, which got together on a regular basis throughout the years.
In 1973 Casey and Maury moved to Lake Placid while building Windfall, their dream house on Lake Kiwassa in Saranac Lake. After moving to Kiwassa, Casey worked in the office of William Sweeney, CPA, until her retirement in 1985. Thereafter, she remained active in the community, delivering Meals on Wheels for 12 years and serving as a volunteer at Adirondack Medical Center. For fun, she joined the Red Hat Society. In recent years, Casey contributed considerable historic reference for her nephew Dean Elliott Case's book, "Kinfolks Knives - A History of Cutlery and Cousins," which was published in 2010. She also contributed information to cousin Brad Lockwood's book, "The Case Cutlery Dynasty," published in 2005. A superb cook who loved to entertain, Casey's cocktail and dinner parties were renowned. Not surprisingly, even during this past year, her nutritional training and culinary art skills were enlisted to consult on menu improvements at Will Rogers.
She is survived by two sons: Fitz-Edward Otis II (Edit) of Sarasota, Fla., and Michael Case Otis (Mary Elizabeth "Bee") of Gallupville; two daughters: Judith Ann Otis (Richard Wilson) of Elizabeth City, N.C., and Mary Pamela Otis (Richard A. Curreri) of Voorheesville; eight grandchildren: Janet Nielson (Stanley), Fitz-Edward III (Susan), Michelle Brantley (Leonard), Deborah Stone Breen (Mark), Kellie Fredericks (John), Kate Otis (Eli Rabinowitz), Allison Curreri and Richard J. Curreri; and eight great-grandchildren.
Calling hours will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, 20 Church St. in Saranac Lake. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at St. Bernard's Church in Saranac Lake. Burial will take place in the spring in the town of Harrietstown Cemetery outside Saranac Lake.
Friends wishing to remember Casey may make memorial contributions to the Saranac Lake Free Library, Adirondack Medical Center or the Association of Senior Citizens (for the Meals on Wheels program in Franklin County) in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.