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He worked for years as deputy chief of staff to state Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally when Dymally served in the Assembly, state Senate, as lieutenant governor and as a congressman.

In later years, Otis spent much of his time painting and sculpting. He also opened an organic grocery store in Sebastopol in the early 1990s to sell his son Nicky’s vegetables, decorating the store with his own colorful murals.

Although he had little success selling groceries, he did draw large crowds to the market every Friday and Saturday night when he performed there with his band.

“It was a smashing success,” Gould said. “You had to make reservations three weeks ahead. It was amazing.”

Otis also had a regular show playing records on the nonprofit Pacifica Radio Network’s stations until failing health prompted him to retire in 2005.

In addition to his sons, Otis is survived by his wife, Phyllis, whom he married in 1941; daughters Janet and Laura; and several grandchildren.

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Former Associated Press writer Andrew Glazer contributed to this report.