Otis Gunn..Would Members Share Memories

To all Think Tank Members:

I never knew Otis Gunn and wasn’t a member, when he was a contributor here. I heard about his untimely death and would like to know more about him and what special memories members here have of him. It sounds like he was a very special person, that would help others, when he could.

I think life is all about memories from the time we are small, growing up, raising families, and then working and trying to take your place in life. After Tom Lehmann told me about him and what a special person he was, I would like to know if members would share their memories of him. I wish I would have know him.

Thanks to anyone that wants to contribute.


I always wondered about the years attached to the name by the moderators listing up there… I clicked on the web link once before but it was not active. Now I am more curious than ever. Please share the story if you will anyone. It is always good too hear about one of the good guys and to remember them when they are gone.

Jeez…ya know… you just chat with someone for YEARS and they just become part of the clan. I remember telling my husband about him and seeing pictures of his set up and thought to myself “Wow…someday maybe” He was just otis. Kinda like trying to describe Nick, Royce. Dave, indie, you, piper, wiz, all ya all. It is just crazy. He was smart. Good business man. Personable. Some met him on the pizza cruise and of course raved of meeting him. I wonder if there are still the pics or link to his pics. They were cool. Putting a face with the person was nice. He had a set up outside his portable pizza unit. I think he even delivered from there.

Gosh just lots of GREAT people on here throughout the years. Funny we all have pizza in common and that is just enough to make us come here everday and share. I appreciate it and I know Otis helped create the good vibe that rolls around here.



Thanks for getting the ball rolling. I never know Otis and now I hear he was really one of the good guys. It is always interesting to hear about another person and since he was a moderator, I have looked though some of his posts and see he tried to help people. Moderators are a special breed.

Great memories last forever.




Thanks for sharing your memories of Otis Gunn. I also read when people met him, they also liked him right away. There are just special people that seem to have something special about them. I also would like to see a picture of Otis. He sounds like he was a adventurous man. I am relatively new here and wish I also could met all of the members. Great to hear Otis helped to create the great vibes on PMQ think tank. Special people will live on forever.

I appreciate you contributed to this thread. Otis must have really loved the pizza business, also.


Otis was always interested in learning. He wanted to know every way there was to do something so he could make the wisest decision on how he would do it.

On his way to the PMQ Orlando Pizza Show quite a few years back he called me up and asked if he could stop by and observe my business for a bit. I got a tour of his trailer set up for pizza. We worked the dinner rush then went up the hill to a restaurant that I sort of share a parking lot with. We had a few drinks and I got a lot of feedback from him. It’s always great to get some feedback from an independent observer.

Otis was always one of the “good guys” on the PMQ board. He would do everything he could to help those that were struggling in this business. He wasn’t shy about sharing his recipes. The Think Tank community lost a lot with Otis’ passing. I’m glad to see his legacy live on here.


Thank you for sharing your memories about Otis Gunn. Hearing he also wanted to learn and shared his recipes is great.
A legacy for someone so great as Otis, has the power to help us all try to live a mindful and proactive lives. Otis has created a lasting contribution to the pizza world. This will help others that have never know Otis, to give purpose, passion and meaning to life and the world of pizza making. Otis’s legacy can help us all to have more enjoyment and passion in our lives. Although I never knew Otis, it seems his uniqueness was significant to others. It seems like Otis created a legacy for members that the world was a better place because of how he acted and what he did.

I appreciate you also took the time to share your memories,


Otis would “winter” in Macon, GA, so on his way by one year, he stopped off at my place and chatted for a long time about pizza. He ran a pizza trailer “dine-in” place at a trailer park/travel camping sort of place every year. same people would come every year, with some different faces rotating as well. He would deliver pizzas to people using this liottle electric cart IIRC. He had pictures on here at one point.

Anyway, he and his cat stopped to watch my place one Evening, and talked with me about pizza and people and life. He really was a good guy who saw everyone as a colleague rather than a competitor. He was the guy who got me into “sprinkling”. He never served a pie without “sprinkling” SOMETHING on it . . .parmesan . . . oregano . . . blended herbs . . . something. It was his thing to add a last bite of flavor/aroma and set his pies apart. I do it with my calzone/stromboli . . . brush with garlic butter and sprinkle with garlic/romano/herb seasoning thing I use for several things. It is my tribute to Otis every time we send one out. I think I started it two months after I met hom, give or take.


Sounds like you also had special memories of Otis. It is also interesting you had fond memories of him being one of the “good guys”. That’s great to hear, he got you to try “sprinkling”. You are paying a tribute to him each time you send out your calzone/stromboli.

There is “beauty” in the power of Otis’s legacy. You can’t do much about your length of life, but Otis seemed to do something about it’s width and depth, in creating other members fond memories of what a unique person he was.

Thanks for contributing your memories of Otis,


If you haven’t read this link before check it out: http://www.pmq.com/tt/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5912

The guy led a truly fascinating life. The post also includes a great picture of Otis, and I’m sorry that his webpage with photos is no longer active. It had a picture from his pizza trailer of the sunset and it always made me think “this guy found the good life.”

I remember being at my first Pizza Expo in 2005. I saw this gentlemen walking while engaged in conversation. Well, not so much conversing as listening. He had his hands clasped behind his back, his eyes down at the floor and his head cocked to one side taking in whatever the other person was saying. I have no idea why, but he just struck me for some reason - he was listening so intently as if taking the conversation in like a sponge but at the same time appeared to be significantly wiser than the person he was listening to. Like he was doing this guy a favor and letting him talk.

When he got close enough I looked at his name tag and it said “Otis Gunn”. I thought it was so cool to be seeing a name that I had been seeing on the TT for a couple of years. I now regret that I didn’t jump up and introduce myself; I would have loved to say that I had a conversation with one of the greats.

Otis and I would shoot the breeze on the phone all the time. He was a neat person in that he cared about what you said. Due to the fact you need 2 for a cabin on the cruise, I got with Otis and we booked the first cruise together sharing the same cabin.

He is missed. I wish I wouldnt spent even more time getting to know him.

Life is short,make every day count!



Thanks so much for providing that link to all the members that did memorialize Otis Gunn. I also enjoyed seeing a picture of Otis. He looked like such a “down to earth” friendly man. Being memorialized can give greater meaning to someone’s life, that gave so much to others. Regardless of persons economic class, there are many great people here on earth that have lived with dignity. Otis did live with dignity, pride in his making pizza and always looking for a better way to achieve his goals.

Otis also learned by listening as you posted. I also would have liked to talked to one of the greats. I can imagine how beautiful that picture looked with his trailer and the sunset in the back.

Thanks for posting all the information you did, I think more members that didn’t know him, will honor his memory now. I see he was made a honorary moderator after he did pass.



You were fortunate in my opinion to get to meet Otis. Just hearing how he took time to listen to what others were saying is amazing. He probably was taking everything in he could. In this busy world, there isn’t much time to be someone like Otis. He was a man that took great pride in his career and being nice to others. I agree with you life is short and everyone should make everyday count. We all should strive to be more like Otis.


Leave it to piper to find the pics. How awesome everyone here is…:wink: I TRULY enjoyed reading the posts about your meeting with him.

Norma-He had that unique kind of place…like your situation-just unique. And all of us here are so unique in one way or the other…truly a pleasure around here. I can only hope some day in the future if our paths cross all of us could share a handshake or a big fat bear hug…we are family to some degree.

Piper if I am ever at a expo and I see a name tag that says piper I promise to say hello…isn’t that funny I was telling hubby about this thread and realized I know tons about your place and don’t even know your name.

Same with some of the others…as I listed the names in my first post and went through Wiz, indie, paul, knight wing, deaconvulcar, hmmmm so many…dont even know your names??? But I know you are all pizzaolio’s…as nick would say!

Let me introduce myself…I’m Kris. LOL


I also enjoyed seeing the picture of Otis and finding out what kind of person he was.

I also believe we are all unique in one way or another, but we all share the love of pizza. I appreciate every members posts here, because I am not a full-time pizza operator and I still have a lot to learn. I learn from each post I read and have searched the forum for things I was looking for and the past posts were very helpful to me. I also wish we all could meet sometime and at least share a handshake or a big bear hug like you said.

Every person has the ability to touch another person in positive ways. We all have encounters with other people on a daily basis, but there are always people that we remember more than others. While some of these encounters are brief, they can also impact our lives forever. I believe although I never knew Otis, he was one of those special people that made a lasting impression on people he met.

Thanks to everyone that contributed to this thread, so I could learn more about Otis Gunn.

Norma and I am really Norma

It probably won’t say Piper! I’m a private pilot and learned to fly in a Piper Cherokee, hence the name, but my real name is Joe. And I just hope to make it to another Expo someday!

I really wish I was around when Otis was here. He sounds like he was a wonderful person that truely cared for everyone he came in contact with. The world needs more people like him. I just came up with the new slogan for all of us… “THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE WITH MORE PIZZA…PEOPLE!” I like it. :smiley: You can read it two ways… telling people they need to eat more pizza or that there needs to be more people like Otis… “Pizza People” This should go on the box toppers! :idea:


I really like your new slogan: “THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE WITH MORE PIZZA…PEOPLE!”. I also think it could be read two ways like you posted. I think the world would be a better place if more people would be like Otis.

I really eat a lot of pizza, trying out new experiments all the time at home and at my small stand at market. I have set-up my regular BBQ grill with firebricks and a top steel pan baking pan, filled with firebricks, and have been testing that also. I had worried about how much pizza I ate every week. At least when I went for my annual check-up all my numbers were fine, even at my age, so in my opinion pizza is a healthy food and it should be promoted that it is a healthy food, unless you have allergies to some of the ingredients.

Thanks for your ideas and also saying you would have liked to have know Otis,


WOW…Piper you are a guy??? That is too friggin funny. I always thought you were a girl. Truly stumped. WOW :oops:

I found a photo of Otis’ setup in Quartzsite, AZ. He called it “The Pizza Wheel.” He had a little “neighborhood electric vehicle” he used to make deliveries in town. His forum posts came from the laptop he kept in a tiny bit of space on top of a beverage cooler in the trailer. What a great guy!

Jeff Ward,

Thanks so much for finding a picture of Otis’s “The Pizza Wheel.” It is nice to be able to see a picture of his pizza business. His place looks great. Even learning where he made forum posts was interesting to hear. I can now understand from all these posts on this thread what an interesting man he was.

Thanks for posting the picture and the memories,


That’s funny. If I ever have a daughter I would like to name her Piper, but my wife says it’s a str!pper name.