Mary Ann Ottinger Hantla, 82, peacefully passed away Aug. 24 in Austin, Texas.
The Guest Book is expired.
She was the daughter of Daniel and Milka Blazich, Yugoslavian immigrants who came to America. They homesteaded in Winnett, Mont. where Mary Ann was born on Oct. 19, 1930. She had one brother and one sister.
Mary Ann and her brother, Chris, started school in Winnett, neither of them knowing how to speak in English.
In 1937, the family moved to a farm in the Bitterroot Valley near Corvallis, Mont. Mary Ann attended the Corvallis schools, graduating in 1948.
Her college life began in Dillon at Western Montana College of Education. After two years, she earned a two-year teaching certificate and began her teaching career in Bridger, Mont. teaching 6th grade.
During her teaching years, she attended summer school many summers, earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Montana in Missoula in 1961, graduating cum laude. In 1969 she obtained a master's degree in education from Montana State University in Bozeman.
Mary Ann married Bill Ottinger of Hamilton, Mont. in 1951. To this union, two daughters were born. Later, Bill and Mary Ann separated and she and the girls moved to Bozeman.
In 1983, Mary Ann retired from teaching after 31 years in the classroom, all in elementary schools in Montana. She taught in Bridger, Corvallis, Hamilton, and the last 18 years were in Bozeman.
Upon retirement, Mary Ann married Archie Hantla from Denver, Colo. Archie had just retired from a long engineering career. Together they had many wonderful adventures, enjoying numerous cruises and travels, both in the U.S. as well as in many countries abroad.
Mary Ann was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Teacher's Sorority, Big Sky Retired Educators, Holy Rosary Church and the Ladies' Catholic Group of Foresters.
Mary Ann embraced life, enjoyed people, had many interests, and never experienced a boring moment. She loved her country, home, family and being with her grandchildren and friends. She spent much enjoyable time doing sewing, needlework, crafts, cooking, baking, reading and dancing. She loved musical performances, plays, movies, picnics and her great travels.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother, Chris, and husband, Archie.
Mary Ann is survived by her sister, Annie (Floyd) Gerke of Austin, Texas; daughters, Kelly (John) Brogoitti of Sherwood, Ore. and Robin (Steven) Moran of Belgrade, step-daughter, Debby (Roland) Wright of Arlington, Texas; niece, Sherrie (Brad) Shaver of Austin; five grandchildren, Shane Griessel of Boston, Mass., Skylar Griessel of Ellensburg, Wash., Ako Poti, San Francisco, Calif., and Dinyano and Autumn Poti of Bozeman; great niece and nephew, Melanie and Matthew Shaver, Austin, Texas and numerous cousins.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Dahl Funeral Chapel at 11 a.m. Interment will take place Wednesday, Sept. 11 in Anaconda at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Memorials for Mary Ann can be made in her name to the Montana Retired Educators Assoc. Scholarship Fund.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Sept. 8, 2013