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HomeNewsArchivesEARLE OTTLEY MEMORIALIZED ON HIS BIRTHDAY

EARLE OTTLEY MEMORIALIZED ON HIS BIRTHDAY

In a moving and sun-filled ceremony on what would have been his 78th birthday, the ashes of the late Sen. Earle B. Ottley were interred Wednesday morning in the garden of the Legislature, a building where Ottley had spent much of his life.
Ottley not only served three terms as Senate president, the building is his alma mater, where he attended high school, a fact brought to light by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in a heartfelt tribute to the late senator.
Turnbull said, "Unification is what he brought us, with his heart and vision." He called Ottley "one of the Virgin Islands's greatest human beings – more than just a politician; a statesman, editor, journalist, civic leader, one who wasn't afraid to make unpopular choices."
He reminded the audience, peopled with a depth of political personalities and family, that Ottley had "lifted this community out of 1950's poverty and into a middle class."
"Before that," Turnbull said, " though many people may not remember, you were either rich or poor." With the support of the late governor Ralph Paiewonsky, he said, Ottley was the "architect"of our present society, and had presented many initiatives including the College of the Virgin Islands, now UVI.
In concluding the tribute to his old friend, Turnbull cautioned historians to remember that Ottley "walked these streets – our children should know that."
Ottley's more than 30-year active political career began in 1947 on the Municipal Council, and ended on his retirement in 1980. But he remained active until his death on Aug. 26, 1999.
In a touching tribute, Juel Molloy, Turnbull's chief of staff, remembered that "Ottley was my adopted father," noting her own father had died when she was three years old. She said that right up until the very last, her phone would ring at 5:30 a.m., and "I knew who it was." She added that "he taught me more than politics."
Molloy said, "it is fitting he should be recognized here today where he made a life — where he gave the very best that he had to offer – his friendship, talent, compassion and wisdom."
Ottley's ashes were interred in a handsome tomb in the Floria A. Callwood Garden at the front of the Legislature, and blessed by Bishop George V. Murry who, along with Deacon Frank Veraart, gave the invocation.

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In a moving and sun-filled ceremony on what would have been his 78th birthday, the ashes of the late Sen. Earle B. Ottley were interred Wednesday morning in the garden of the Legislature, a building where Ottley had spent much of his life.
Ottley not only served three terms as Senate president, the building is his alma mater, where he attended high school, a fact brought to light by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in a heartfelt tribute to the late senator.
Turnbull said, "Unification is what he brought us, with his heart and vision." He called Ottley "one of the Virgin Islands's greatest human beings – more than just a politician; a statesman, editor, journalist, civic leader, one who wasn't afraid to make unpopular choices."
He reminded the audience, peopled with a depth of political personalities and family, that Ottley had "lifted this community out of 1950's poverty and into a middle class."
"Before that," Turnbull said, " though many people may not remember, you were either rich or poor." With the support of the late governor Ralph Paiewonsky, he said, Ottley was the "architect"of our present society, and had presented many initiatives including the College of the Virgin Islands, now UVI.
In concluding the tribute to his old friend, Turnbull cautioned historians to remember that Ottley "walked these streets – our children should know that."
Ottley's more than 30-year active political career began in 1947 on the Municipal Council, and ended on his retirement in 1980. But he remained active until his death on Aug. 26, 1999.
In a touching tribute, Juel Molloy, Turnbull's chief of staff, remembered that "Ottley was my adopted father," noting her own father had died when she was three years old. She said that right up until the very last, her phone would ring at 5:30 a.m., and "I knew who it was." She added that "he taught me more than politics."
Molloy said, "it is fitting he should be recognized here today where he made a life -- where he gave the very best that he had to offer – his friendship, talent, compassion and wisdom."
Ottley's ashes were interred in a handsome tomb in the Floria A. Callwood Garden at the front of the Legislature, and blessed by Bishop George V. Murry who, along with Deacon Frank Veraart, gave the invocation.