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John Otten(1931 - 2013)

John Everett Otten

John Everett Otten, age 82, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Monday October 28, 2013, in Sturgis, SD.

John was born to John (Jack) and Nina (Johnson) Otten March 5, 1931, in Erwin, SD. He grew up in Estelline, SD, with four sisters and graduated from high school in 1949. He was an avid sportsman enjoying softball, baseball, football, basketball, and hunting.

John enlisted in the United States Army in 1951, and after serving 21 years retired in 1971. His career in the army included many job assignments. He was stationed in Sioux Falls and Minneapolis as a recruiter in the early 50's. He was also stationed in Germany for 8 years. He returned to SD in 1962 as an ROTC instructor and rifle team coach at USD and SDSU. In 1966, he did his first tour in Vietnam as a weapons advisor to the Vietnamese army. He returned for his second tour in Vietnam in 1968. During his Vietnam tours he received a Silver Star Medal, 2 Purple Heart w/OLC, Bronze Star Medal, and Vietnam Service Meal w/1 Bronze Service Star. He was a quiet hero and very proud of his country. He never minimized the sacrifices that soldiers and their family have to pay for the price of freedom for our country.

He married the love of his life of 51 years, Christa Kroker on January 20, 1962, in New Ulm, Germany. This union brought four redheaded daughters to the world: Marcene, Sonja, Sylvia, and Sandra. After his retirement from the army he moved his family to a farm near Elkton, SD, where he farmed for 8 years, another long-time passion of his. He then moved to Piedmont, SD, to be closer to his parents, and drove semi-truck for 8 years. In 1984, John took a postmaster position in Sinai, SD, working there for 2 years. John transferred to Delmont, SD, where he completed his postal career in 1994. John and Christa resided in Tripp, SD, for the last 25 years where he spent his time enjoying the daily political debates and government happenings, gardening, cooking, and spoiling his wife.

Along with being a proud patriot, he instilled the importance of education and hard work to his daughters and grandchildren, and helped them succeed in any way he could.

Happy and blessed to have shared his life are his wife, Christa; his daughters, Marcene (Frank) Bloom of Scenic, SD, Sonja Otten Fox of Hot Springs, SD, Sylvia Otten of Gillette, WY, formerly of Bruce, SD, Sandra (Dean) Baldwin of Sturgis, SD; sisters, Neva Howe of Ventura, CA, and Leone Mix of Arlington, SD; his eight grandchildren, Elliot and Hollie Bloom, Claudine and Joe Soester, John (Brooke) Otten, and Nodia, Stetson and Nadine Lippert; and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Marcene and Lucille; and one granddaughter, Alaina.

The family will receive friends from 6pm to 8pm this Wednesday evening at Kinkade Funeral Chapel. Funeral Services will be at1pm on Thursday, October 31, in the Kinkade Funeral Chapel with Pastor John Williamson officiating. Burial will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery National Cemetery, Sturgis, SD.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.

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Published in The Argus Leader on Oct. 30, 2013
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