Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
May 24, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke at a memorial service this past Friday, May 21, for Otto Beatty, Jr., a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives and husband to Congresswoman Joyce Beatty. Below is a transcript of his remarks: 

“John Lewis called all of us brothers and sisters, and, in that sense, Otto was my brother.  I didn’t know Otto for a long time.  I didn’t get to know him as well as you did.  It was not through his career.  Nor, [Former] Mayor [Michael] Coleman, did I see him on his boat.  But there’s no doubt in my mind that he was the captain of his boat.  I’m not sure he was the captain of his house, but I’m sure he was the captain of his boat.  
 
“Joyce, as you know, my Judy died twenty-seven years ago this February.  She was fifty-seven years of age.  Her minute was too short.  And, although I didn’t know [Otto] for a long time, I got to know him very well.  As we visited the places where Christ walked on our trip to Israel – seven days getting up together; spending all day together; staying in the same hotel; eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner together – you got to know somebody pretty well in those seven days.   
 
“Joyce, it is very tough to lose a spouse.  So, I know what you’re going through - and I know what you have lost and what we have lost.  And what Ohio has lost.  And what Columbus has lost.  

"My, what an extraordinary human being Otto was.  One of the things I learned on that trip in those seven days was how much love and respect Otto and Joyce shared with one another.  It was, as we say, self-evident - a compelling respect and friendship and love and caring of two people.  How Columbus, how the Ohio State University, and how the Congress of the United States and our country were blessed by this extraordinary couple.   
 
“I was at a funeral once when the pastor said: ‘We have a body but we are a soul – and because of the gift that God gave us through Christ, we shall not die.’  Otto is not dead.  His soul survives – not only for that 1,000 years of amazing grace, but for as many days yet to come.  God blessed us with the life and courage and conviction of Otto Beatty Jr.”