In the News

Otto Beatty, Jr. honored by Pelosi, Clyburn and more as 'legendary' advocate

f t # e
abc6onyourside, May 21, 2021 | comments

Otto Beatty, Jr. honored by Pelosi, Clyburn and more as 'legendary' advocate

by Geoff Redick

Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Longtime state representative, civil rights, and racial equality advocate Otto Beatty, Jr. was laid to rest on Friday in a powerful remembrance attended by the Democrat leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).

The husband of Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) was celebrated as a leader, servant and advocate for the underserved and underprivileged in Central Ohio. As a lifelong lawyer and business owner, friends recalled Otto Beatty's legacy as a "Black man who defined Black power in Columbus," according to former mayor Michael B. Coleman.

Pelosi shared that although Joyce Beatty now serves in Congress, Otto was respected among the leaders in Washington, D.C.



Local and state Democrats, friends and family members made up the bulk of the attendees Friday. Most went to a separate morning visitation as the service was limited attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"He showed me the right way. He led me and he guided me. He accepted me for the good, the bad, the ugly," said Cheye Rose Williams, who said Beatty was her family lawyer from childhood when she lost her parents, and mentored her from time to time. "He was a special role model in my life...I thought the least I could do was show up to his last party."




State Senator Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) shared his own story of mentorship from Otto Beatty, who served from 1980 till 1998 in the Ohio Statehouse before ceding his seat to wife Joyce.

"Many times he did it (mentoring) quietly. Didn't need to shout; he just served," said Craig. "That's why you see me standing here, and being very grateful for his brotherhood, and his friendship...and mentorship."

"It hit me hard," added Sen. Craig, on Beatty's death, "because he has stood so strong, for so many."



The final speaker before Friday's eulogy was Rep. Joyce Beatty, Otto's wife since 1992 and now the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

"He loved me more than life, and I loved him back," said Rep, Beatty. "I have no problem saying: he took care of me...and I took care of him."

Taking an almost joyous tone in defiance of Otto's sudden passing, Rep. Beatty implored those attending to remember Otto's strength and legacy.

"When someone said to me that the obituary was long, I say 'no it wasn't long — I say, it's history. Our history. My husband's history," she concluded. "Live on, Otto Beatty: you 'bad' Black man."

Beatty was laid to rest in historic Greenlawn Cemetery on Friday afternoon.

f t # e

Connect with the CBC

Stay connected with the CBC and get news directly to your inbox.