Howard Ernst Otto, M.D. Howard never thought he could love anything more than science. But, while studying chemistry in 1954, he met Joan. They were married six months later. Howard received a B.S. from UCLA in 1954. Upon graduation, Howard served in the Air Force as an Officer. He later received his M.D., Cum Laude, from USC. After completing his residency in pathology, Howard drove his wife, children and several family pets from Southern California to the U.P. As a board-certified pathologist, Howard served for 35 years in both Houghton ('67-'84) and Cheboygan ('84-'02) counties. Howard left an inspiring legacy in Upper Michigan. He opened his home, heart and table at the local Big Boy to many students and families in the community. A wry joke and wide smile from Howard quickly put anyone at ease. The Otto home was a wonderful place to learn from Howard about the sciences and great mysteries of the time. While quiet about his generosity, he was outspoken in his views. Visitors were thrilled to listen to Howard's thoughts on movies, politics and the JFK conspiracy. Howard was a teacher his entire life. He taught his children, grandchildren and anyone else who was willing to learn bridge and cribbage and, in 2007, Howard and his daughter, Ruth, took 2nd place at the Mackinaw Bridge Tournament. While being lovingly cared for at Holt Senior Care and Rehabilitation Center, he tutored two attendants as they prepared for their biochemistry exam. With his wife-his "angel in disguise" - daughter and grandchildren by his side, Howard died from complications of frontal lobe dementia on Dec. 23, 2012. He was predeceased by his parents, Louise and John Otto, and his daughter Ruth (Christopher) Abood who passed on Dec. 23, 2009. He is survived by his wife, Joan, four children; John (Nancy) Otto, Charles (Anita) Otto, Dorianne (Jeffrey) Jentzen, Dennis (Diane) Kitchen; thirteen grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren who called him "Bumpa." Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. with a service to follow on Friday, Dec. 28 at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Chapel, 1730 East Grand River Ave., East Lansing, MI. Donations may be made to Holt Senior Care Activity Center, 5091 Willoughby Road, Holt, MI 48842. The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing, Michigan. On line condolences may be made at www.greastlansing.com
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Published in Lansing State Journal on Dec. 27, 2012