William Fullerton (Sandy) Otis, Jr. died at home on November 28, 2022, at the age of 97 after a fall. He was alert, talkative and lucid right to his end.
Sandy was born on October 16, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri. In September of 1940 he entered St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. He excelled in sports at St. Paul’s, and in his senior year was Secretary of his Form.
Sandy was permitted by St. Paul’s to graduate in December 1943 along with two friends, Frank Vickers and Mike McClanahan, in order to enlist in the United States Army Air Corps to fight in World War II. Sandy and Frank Vickers were sent to England and fought as tail gunners in B-25s. Unfortunately, Vickers was shot down and killed on a mission.
Sandy’s plane was also shot down on one occasion but he parachuted out over Holland, survived, and was back at the air base within 36 hours. He completed 34 combat missions. For his war service, Sandy was awarded both the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the war, Sandy met his first wife, Grete, who had come to the United States from Norway right after the war, at International House in New York City. They soon travelled around the country finding jobs together and spent the winter of 1949 in Jackson, Wyoming, where Sandy skied. Thereafter, Sandy and Grete moved to Middlebury, Vermont where Sandy attended Middlebury College on the G.I. Bill and graduated in the Class of 1953. His first child, Christine, was born in 1950 in Middlebury. He went on to Vermont Medical School in Burlington, Vermont, graduating in 1957. His second child, Kim, was born in Burlington in 1954.
Sandy did his internship and residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which he completed in the summer of 1959. He then took his family to Europe for 14 months. The family lived the winter in Lech, Austria and the rest of the year in a small town on the southern coast of Spain.
Sandy started his psychiatric practice in 1962 at The Carrier Clinic, a psychiatric hospital in Belle Mead, New Jersey where he was a practicing psychiatrist until 1977. He was most proud of introducing group therapy to the Clinic. In 1978-79, Sandy and Grete moved to Zurich where Sandy studied to become a Jungian analyst at the Jung Institute. On their return to Princeton Sandy had a private practice until 1992.
After his retirement from private practice Sandy audited several courses a semester at Princeton University for over 20 years. He traveled to town every day on his motorcycle and loved being in town, often using the library to do his studies. For decades he also met with a small group of older men every morning for two hours at Bon Appétit. When the pandemic ended that, he continued to meet with the group on Zoom until shortly before his death.
After the death of his first wife in 1999 Sandy married Daniela Bittman. For many years Sandy and Daniela traveled to Europe every summer for over two months, staying at an apartment above a barn in Switzerland, as well as places they found in the Dordogne region of France. He loved to travel around Switzerland and hiked many mountains in the Alps.
Sandy always said that he was one of the luckiest men alive and that he enjoyed his life tremendously. He famously said that his 80’s were the best decade of his life. When he had a motorcycle accident in his 90th year, things started to get more difficult. He said he was particularly lucky to have a second marriage to Daniela. They were devoted to each other. She took wonderful care of him, especially and completely at the end of his life.
Sandy is survived by his wife Daniela Bittman, his son and daughter-in-law Kim and Loraine Otis, his granddaughter Anna Otis, his stepson Jonathan Bittman and his wife, Sarah Jeffrey and daughter, Bodil. Sandy was also predeceased by his daughter, Christine Otis.
At Sandy’s request there will be no service. He asked that if after he died anyone who knew him personally remembered a good moment with him, that was all he wanted.