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Monday, February 12, 2024
Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)
“Where do you get all the stuff?” was the first question Otis Dewayne Schiller was asked when the cars would slow long enough for a conversation. Otis would smile, revel in the wide eyes of kids and adults alike, and say, “A little here, a little there.” And those words seemed to encompass who he was. Otis passed from this life on January 29, 2024 leaving behind a family who mourns his loss but celebrates the joy he brought so many.
Otis was born on August 6, 1951, in Little Rock. He is preceded in death by his mother Mary Magdalene Schiller, his father Edmund Frederick Schiller, and brother Eddie Schiller. Otis met his wife, Ann Michele Isgrig, when they lived in the same apartment complex and went to a party. Ann was drawn to him for his ability to make her laugh, something that, ironically, he took very seriously.
In the 1970s, Otis attended clown school, and was the main attraction at dozens of little kid birthday parties. He made balloon animals, joked with parents, and made sure every single child had a good time. In fact, Otis first met Ann’s parents with full clown suit and make up on. And yes, he made them smile, too.
He and Ann married and soon had two babies, Frederick Schiller and Lisa (David) Breeding, who became the focus of his antics. With a really good singing voice, he entertained them countless hours. He took a job at Dillard’s, worked at Pulaski Heights Methodist Church, and attended to the needs of his family.
Though he had to put the clown suit away, Otis never lost the great desire to make people smile. So, he focused his efforts on holidays, particularly Halloween. It started out as a way to make his house look spooky to trick-or-treaters. Soon, it became a must-see in Little Rock. If you’ve ever driven down Markham Street in October, you’ve seen the line of cars outside his house to view the hundreds of decorations themed just right. Otis spent all year gathering his decorations and would spend hours setting them up. His family would shake their heads, begging him to ease up. Then, they’d see the cars pull up, little kid faces pinned to the windows and eyes wide in genuine happiness, and they’d smile. Otis was dubbed The Halloween King and he reveled in it, showing pictures of his decorations to anyone who hinted they liked the holiday.
Otis set up elaborate Christmas decorations. Then, St. Patrick’s Day. Easter. July 4th. He spent hours doing this for the same reason he first donned the clown suit — he wanted to make others happy.
Otis leaves five grandchildren – Carter, Cash, and Cruz Breeding, Draven and Raelynn Schiller, his sister, Janet Paniagua, as well as countless friends and family members to miss him.
The Halloween King has passed on, but his spirit will still be with those he made smile. He lived his life so that when it came to happiness, he could leave “a little here, a little there” for when he was gone. His family misses him deeply but finds great comfort in the joy he left behind. Every holiday, they’ll remember the king.
A memorial service will be held 10:00 am Monday, February 12, 2024 at Christ Episcopal Church, 509 Scott Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201.