Otis Lathan Belk of Lakeside at Mallard Landing, Salisbury died on his 96th birthday, April 29, 2022.
Born in Monroe, North Carolina, his parents were Samuel Alexander Belk and Winnie Starnes Belk. He was one of seven children. His father died when Otis and his siblings were very young. Unable to take care of her children during the Great Depression, Mrs. Belk was forced to allow her children to be placed in North Carolina orphanages. Otis and two brothers were placed in the Methodist Children’s Home of Winston Salem, North Carolina where he stayed until graduating from high school in 1944. He joined the Navy in the latter part of 1944 and served for two years.
Using the GI Bill, he graduated from Brevard Junior College, Brevard, North Carolina. He met Nancy Jane Loftis while working at the local movie theater, “The Coed.” They married in January 1949 and had two children, Betty Tyrrell, and Robert Lathan.
He began a 35+ year career at E.I. DuPont Construction that took him from Brevard to Wilmington, Del.; Old Hickory, Tenn.; Seaford; Houston and Beaumont, Texas. The highlight of his career was a five-year stint at the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Europe facility where he met his second wife, Florence Hagen Raup. They were married in 1975.
Otis and “Flo” retired to Richmond, Va. where they thoroughly enjoyed their retirement. Otis’ many hobbies included Boy Scouting, coaching Little League, fishing, traveling, bowling, gardening, woodworking, antiquing, and volunteering for Meals on Wheels in Richmond for more than 30 years, where he earned “Volunteer of the Year” several times.
He moved to Salisbury on his 95th birthday to be close to his family, who visited weekly. He “danced” at his granddaughter’s wedding and was able to meet his ninth great-grandchild, his namesake Lathan Wayne Bowden, the newest love of his life.
He was predeceased by his parents Samuel and Winnie Belk, siblings Lois Beam, Samuel A. Belk, Thomas Belk, John Thomas Belk, John Wesley Belk, his first wife Nancy, second wife Florence and one great-grandchild.
His is survived by his 102 year-old sister Ophelia Smith of Dublin, Virginia; his children Betty Truitt of Seaford; son Robert Lathan Belk of Bridgeville; James Raup (Jane) of Wingina, Virginia; Susan Raup Stube (Ron) of Richmond; Thomas Raup (Tiffany) of Lake Anna, Virginia; and Chris Raup (Julie) of Waco, Texas. Otis is also survived by six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Otis lived a long and happy life. He had a job he loved, he traveled the world, and had many friends and family who loved him.
There was no formal service, but family gathered for a celebration of life at Silver Beach, Virginia.
Donations may be made in his memory to: Meals on Wheels, 1415 Rhoadmiller St., Richmond, VA 23220, Coastal Hospice at the Lake, 351 Deers Head Hospital Rd., Salisbury, MD 21801, or The Children’s Home, 1001 Reynolda Rd., Winston-Salem, NC 27104.