MORGAN - Sometimes even giants have to sleep. In fitting fashion, Parley Otis Rose selected March 31, 2013, Easter Sunday, to begin his eternal rest from mortality. Surrounded by his family, Otis slipped peacefully from this life to the next and into the tender arms of his sweetheart who has been waiting anxiously for 14 years for his return.
Born in the same farmhouse as his father, as the fifth of seven siblings, life began for the first son of Parley August and Martha Rose on June 15, 1929. Life was good for approximately four months until the stock market crashed in October of that same year, ushering in the Great Depression that fundamentally shaped a nation. Otis claimed he was born before garbage was invented, as evidenced by ample quantities of reclaimed nuts, bolts, and straightened nails. Yet tough times made tough people. If you didn’t have it, you made it. If you couldn’t make it, you didn’t need it. Otis lived his life making do with what he had.
Reality introduces itself quickly to a farm child, and Otis soon learned to follow the rule of work before play. And work was an abundant commodity on the small dairy farm. (Otis claimed he did not know there was a gate at the end of the lane until he was 18 and could drive through it.) Yet even though the work was hard and the days were long on the farm, his best stories were of his childhood, including farming with horses, milking cows by hand, and trips for timber with a horse and wagon.
A proud product of Morgan schools, Otis donned the maroon and white and represented his school with honor on the football field (offensive and defensive line) and as part of the Trojan Marching Band. Under the direction of J.L. Terry, the band was highly regarded and well respected both inside and outside of Morgan, and Otis would recount playing alto saxophone in the band as his most cherished school experience. He was undoubtedly a Trojan for life.
If being a farm kid from a small town limited his world view, Otis had his perspective expanded in a most extreme way as he was called to serve an LDS mission to the Palestine, Syria mission. Assigned to Beirut, Lebanon, Otis spread the gospel in the simmering pot of the Middle East. When civil war forced him to be relocated to Holland after six months to finish his mission, he was able to visit Bethlehem on Christmas Eve and walk in the Savior’s footsteps through the Holy Land before his departure.
Upon successful completion of his mission, the spirit of adventure took hold of Otis and convinced him to explore Europe. Using his thumb as his preferred mode of travel, Otis hitchhiked across the continent visiting most of the European countries and witnessing God’s beauty and man’s destruction from WWII before returning home.
Further adventure awaited Otis as member of the U.S. Army, an experience he described as two years of “hurry up and wait.” While it would have been easy to simply put in his time, Otis pushed his way to the top by qualifying to be a paratrooper in the prestigious 82nd Airborne Division.
A sense of duty pulled Otis back to the family farm where he tilled the soil and managed a small herd of Guernseys for his livelihood. However, a family farm is not the same without a family, so in a bit of a twist of irony, God prepared a city girl from Ogden to be his eternal partner. A blind date, a whirlwind romance, and a little coaxing convinced Geraldine Clark that country living could be fun. On April 24, 1957, Otis and Gerry were married in the Salt Lake temple.
Before long, kids started showing up. By the time they stopped coming, there were seven helpers. They are Wendell (Alisa) Rose, Douglas (Jill) Rose, Susan Rose, Rodney (Vicki) Rose, Beth (Mike) Wangsgard, Ellen Rose, and Brent (Allison) Rose, who in turn blessed their lives with 23 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren with four on the way. Otis is survived by one sister, NaTel Thackeray.
It’s easy, and sometimes tempting to use an accumulation of things as the measure of a man and his success. Otis clearly demonstrated this to be false, as he carried out his life quietly in unmistakable humility and indestructible integrity. He lived his testimony through his service to God as a bishop (twice), Gospel Doctrine teacher (forever), and various stake and ward positions, to his family by his example, and to his spouse through devoted caring. He believed in Christ, he served as Christ would have him serve, and he lived as Christ would have him live. These are the things from which giants are made.
Funeral services will be held at the Porterville church on Friday, April 5th, at 1:00 p.m. A viewing will be held also at the Porterville church on Thursday, April 4th, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday from 11:30 to 12:30.
Interment will be held at the South Morgan Cemetery.
Send condolences to the family at www.walker-mortuary.com