Freeman Otey

May 27, 1931 ~ May 14, 2021 (age 89)


Memorial service will be held Friday June 4, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at White's Funeral Home Chapel. Service will be livestreamed.

Freeman Odeal Otey was born May 27, 1931 in Vinton, Virginia, to Dewey Otey and Jessie Armstrong. He transitioned quietly on Friday,  May 14, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.

Freeman grew up in Vinton, VA then Urbancrest, OH where he met and married Mary Magdalene Glenn while attending Enon Bible Seminary after graduating from high school. Four children were born of that marriage.

Freeman was a laboratory technician in the Medical Corps during the Korean War. He began his civilian career in 1953 at Columbus Army Depot, in Columbus, OH. In 1968 he accepted an assignment in the Far East and over the next 6 years worked in Vietnam, Korea, Okinawa, and Thailand as a computer specialist (and unofficially as an information gatherer).  In Thailand, he met and married his beloved 2nd wife, Noi.  From 1974 to 1977 he served as Chief of Production Planning and Control Division in the Directorate of Supply at Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD), in Corpus Christi, TX.  In 1977 he accepted another overseas assignment as Chief of the Systems Office Headquarters, 60th Ordinance Group and as a Systems Advisor to group command in Europe (USAEUR).   In 1980 he returned to Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD).  Freeman reunited with his four children in 1981. On August 30, 1987 after 36 years of federal service, Freeman retired from the Department of the Army at CCAD, as Deputy Director. Over his 36 years of federal service Freeman earned many official commendations and awards. He was especially proud to be the first Black (African American) to attain the position of Deputy Director and at one point to be the highest ranking African American at CCAD. He often mentioned being the only African American whose picture was hanging on the wall of Directors. Freeman returned to Ohio in 2004.

Freeman was a kind-hearted, generous and adventurous man. Freeman was preceded in death by his sister Geraldine Dockery, brothers Jerome, and Rudolph Valentino, and stepdaughter Mary Ward (Sweetpea).  He is survived by sons Freeman, Jr. (Sacramento, CA), Valentino (Baltimore, MA); daughters Natacha Otey (Columbus, OH), and Pamelia Glenn (Columbus, OH); Grandsons, Hannibal Otey, Valentino Otey, Jr, and Mandela Otey; granddaughter Sharee Wells;  and several great grandchildren and a host of relatives. He is also survived by his dear, long -time friend Skip Wilson.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Freeman Otey, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
June 4, 2021

6:00 PM
White's Funeral & Cremation Services Chapel
867 S. James Road
Columbus, OH 43227

Video is available for this event

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