Otis E. Van Horne, Canton died on September 20, 2017, just two weeks short of his 91st birthday. Otis was born October 03, 1926, in the town of Canton, the son of Philip and Alta Merkley Van Horne, and lived from infancy to January 1945 in the township of Pierrepont. He attended the one room Brick School on CR68 for the first eight grades and graduated from Canton high school, June 1944. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Frances McCormick Van Horne, sons Philip (Lucy), Mark (Maryam), four grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and a sister Barbara (Harold) Smith.
Following high school he was inducted into the army during the early winter of Feb 1945 and received infantry basic training at Camp Gordon, Georgia. After basic training, and a two week furlough home, he was scheduled to join a battalion that would participate in the land invasion of Japan. While enroute to a Pacific Ocean island, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, effectively ended the war in the Pacific and his group was diverted to a combat engineering battalion at Luzon, the Philippines. In January 1946, he was reassigned to the 5th Air Force, Army of occupation, Kimpo Air Base, South Korea. He served in various capacities with the 1035th Air Materiel Squadron, and was discharged November 1946 as a staff sergeant, while serving as Acting First Sergeant of his squadron.
After serving in the military, Otis graduated from the two year electrical curriculum at Canton ATI (now SUNY Canton) in 1949. He then attended Tri State College (now Trine University) and graduated with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation he was employed by the Carborundum Company, Niagara Falls, NY as a staff engineer. He next owned and operated an Electrical Contracting business in Canton for approximately 12 years and for the final 24 years of his working career was employed by SUNY Canton as a professor of Electrical Engineering Technology and retired November 1992. In the early 1970s he earned a M.S. degree in Engineering Science from Clarkson University.
Otis was a member of the Canton United Methodist Church, a former member of the Canton Lions Club, a VFW Post #1231 member, a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and past President of the local section for a period of time, a member of SOAR, and a charter member of the local Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War organization.
Otis had a smile for everyone and derived great pleasure from his decades of participation with his “coffee group” that met almost daily to discuss life, world situations, and the town and people he loved.
His hobbies included the art and craft of stained glass, oil painting, wood working, coin collecting and visiting Civil War battle sites. Otis and Frances traveled extensively and he enjoyed sharing his adventures and interests with his family, friends, and others. Otis never hid the fact that he was happiest at home in Canton. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
The family will receive friends on Friday, September 22, 2017 from 4-7 PM at Lawrence Funeral Home, 21 Park Street, Canton. His funeral will be Saturday at 10:30 AM in the Canton United Methodist Church with Pastor Michael H. Terrell officiating. Burial will follow in Crary Mills Cemetery.
Donations may be made to the Richard E. Winter Cancer Center at Claxton-Hepburn Hospital in Ogdensburg or to Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley.
Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.lawrencefuneralhome.org