Edward Otto, age 87, of Grafton, ND, formerly of Willmar, died Thursday, June 12, at the Lutheran Sunset Home in Grafton, ND.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 19, at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar. Military honors will be provided by Austin F. Hanscom American Legion Post #167 of Willmar. Interment will be at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan, ND. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Disabled American Veterans or the Willmar Area Food Shelf. Arrangements are with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar.
Edward Charles Otto was born June 15, 1926 in Amenia, North Dakota, the son of Oscar and Tracy (Rausch) Otto. He grew up in Amenia and graduated from Amenia High School in 1944. He worked on the family farm until 1946, when he enrolled at Valley City State University, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in education in 1950. In March of 1950 he married Dolores Estelle Olson of Valley City, ND. He then served in the U.S. Army for two years during the Korean War and later served 34 years in the Army National Guard. He began teaching history and coaching basketball in Casselton, ND from 1952 to 1955, and in Park River, ND from 1955 to 1957. In the summer of 1957, Ed earned a masters degree in education from the University of North Dakota. Following, he moved to Pipestone, MN where he taught history and physical education and continued coaching basketball. In 1970, he began his career with the Willmar Public Schools as an assistant principal for four years before returning to the classroom to teach physical education. He also coached baseball for three years. Ed retired in 1989, but continued to teach as a substitute for several years following.
Ed was a member of Vinje Lutheran Church, the American Legion, and the VFW. He enjoyed playing baseball and basketball, especially during college and while in the service. He was inducted into the Valley City State University Hall of Fame twice, and is a member of the North Dakota Babe Ruth Sports Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife, Dolores; two sons, E. Curtis (Mary) Otto of Leavenworth, KS and Robert (Andrea) Otto of Willmar, MN; a daughter, Chris (Mike) Houska of Grafton, ND; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Valerie Otto of Bismarck, ND and Elizabeth Otto of Fargo, ND, and Verna Jane Davidson of Valley City, ND; and many other relatives and friends.
Edward’s parents; two brothers, Gordon Otto and Robert Otto; and sisters, Marion Otto and Donna Otto, preceded him in death.