HARVEY - Funeral services for gun rights champion Otis McDonald will be held Friday April 11th at the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Harvey, llinois, with interment to follow at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood.
A pre-pass celebration of Mr. McDonald’s life will be held from 10 to 11 a.m., and the service begins at 11 o’clock. Mr. McDonald passed away April 4 following a long illness, leaving behind his wife, Laura and five children. His nephew, the Rev. Dr. Fred Jones, will officiate, and host pastor is the Rev. Dr. J.C. Smith.
“Otis will continue to live in the hearts and minds of freedom-living Americans who will long remember his important contribution to the gun rights movement,” said Second Amendments Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We were honored to know him, and we are heartbroken at his loss.”
“Otis truly loved people,” attorney Alan Gura, who argued the SAF-funded case of McDonald v. City of Chicago before the Supreme Court. “He was universally kind, patient, and positive, and wanted very much to see his neighbors enjoying their freedom to which they are entitled. We all owe Otis a debt of gratitude that he could fulfill that wish.”
Born in Fort Necessity, La., Mr. McDonald moved north to Chicago after serving in the U.S. Army. He arrived with $7 in his pocket that he had been given by his mother, and for a time he stayed with a friend while searching for and finally landing a job. He worked in several jobs before finding his career as an engineer at the University of Chicago, where he worked as a journeyman engineer. He also worked his way through college, earning a degree in engineering from Kennedy-King College in Chicago. He later served as president of his local trade union.
Mr. McDonald was 80, and in his final years he became the champion of gun rights for which people will remember him. The case that bears his name, filed on his behalf by the Second Amendment Foundation, incorporated the Second Amendment to the states through the 14th Amendment. The victory forced Chicago to get rid of its handgun ban, and paved the way for the courts to force Illinois to adopt a concealed carry statute, which was another SAF case.
The family suggests that remembrances be made to the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association.
SAF will hold a remembrance of Otis McDonald’s life and his contribution to the Second Amendment at the Gun Rights Policy Conference, to be held in his home city of Chicago Sept. 26-28.