Otis Lael was born on July 21, 1929 in Almira Washington.

He was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force and retired in 1967. He settled in Pine River Minnesota. He began making fish spearing decoys in the early 1960's for his son and friends to use. He didn't carve from that time until the early 1970's when his sisters in Washington State encouraged him to make some decoys and other folk-art pieces. Otis carved purely from imagination and did not try to emulate certain fish species. His carvings are primitive with a good dose of whimsical humor usually present. He also made other interesting folk-art carvings including pull toys, Santas, birds, frogs, and other imaginative critters.

     He regularly attended local carving shows and events, and was a perennial favorite at the "Gathering" held each year in Perham, Minnesota. If you have any interest in folk art, you should familiarize yourself with the fantastic work of Otis Lael.


Sadly, Otis Lael passed away in August of 2005.

He is survived by his loving wife Shirley.