LAKE IN THE HILLS – William F. Otten Jr., 85, of Lake in the Hills, and formerly of Deerfield and Rhinelander, Wis., passed away peacefully at home Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.
He was born March 30, 1927, in Chicago, to William F. and Louise (Kasmirs) Otten Sr.
A January 1945 graduate of Carl Schurz High School in Chicago, he served with the 441st Troop Carrier Group in Eschborn, Germany, during World War II
He married the love of his life, Audrey Kwasigroch, on June 11, 1949, at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Chicago, and settled down in Chicago and later Deerfield to raise four children together.
Bill spent 37 years working as the customer technical laboratory supervisor for Interchemical Printing Inks, a chemical printing ink manufacturer, which ultimately became part of BASF.
He and his wife, Audrey, retired in 1983 to a home that he designed on South Pine Lake, just outside of Rhinelander.
An avid fisherman, gardener and woodworker, he also was a model-ship builder extraordinaire. Many of his completed models were donated to area churches and schools to be auctioned off at charity fundraisers. After the death of his wife, Audrey, on July 28, 1997, he moved back to the Chicago area.
A gentle and private man blessed with a great sense of humor, he was always available to help when one of his family needed him.
He enjoyed the ensuing years, becoming a familiar figure at his grandchildren's school, musical and athletic events. He took great joy in being a part of their lives and encouraging them as they grew toward adulthood.
Bill is survived by his four children, William F. Otten III of Madison, Wis., Mallory (Timothy) Pignatari of Algonquin, James S. (Joy) Otten of Crystal Lake and Robert D. (Peggy) Otten of Grayslake. He was the beloved grandfather of Christopher and Ariana Pignatari, Heather Lakemacher, Joshua Otten, Sarah (Noah) Marsh, Jeremy, Hannah and Rebekah Otten and Tyler, Carlye and Derek Otten. He also leaves a sister, Eileen (Leonard) Niemiec of Paradise Valley, Ariz.; two cousins, John (Joanne) Kasmirs of Poplar Grove and Kathleen (Richard) Stojak of Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister-in-law, Marie (the late Harold) Sperling.
The visitation will take place from 9 until the funeral Mass celebration at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at St. Margaret Mary Church, 111 S. Hubbard St., Algonquin. Interment will be in Northland Memorial Park, Rhinelander, Wis.
For information, call Willow Funeral Home at 847-458-1700 or visit www.willowfh.com.