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Dr. Paul Bernhardt Otto Ph.D.

1933 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Dr.  Paul Bernhardt Otto Ph.D. Obituary
Dr. Paul Bernhardt Otto, Ph.D.

On September 30, 2017, Dr. Paul Bernhardt Otto, Ph.D. of Green Bay, WI died unexpectedly with his elder daughter by his side. On this day, after faithfully serving his God, country, family and community, Paul completed his faith journey and met his savior, Jesus Christ.

Paul was born on his maternal grandfather's farm, near Hanover, Iowa, on June 27, 1933, to Ben and Lillie (Radke) Otto. As a child born in the Depression Era and the eldest of six siblings, he learned the value of hard work and a love of agriculture on the family farm. Witnessing his Uncle Werner Radke's service he acquired an unending patriotism and respect for those who serve their country and interest in the events of World War II. Through baptism and confirmation in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod his strong Christian faith was solidified. Beginning with attendance at Diamond Center country school, he developed into a lifelong scholar and teacher. He attended at St. John's Lutheran parochial school and graduated from Aurelia High School in 195l. During the Korean conflict, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, became a radio engineer and served a tour of duty in Germany (his ancestral homeland).

He was the first in his family to attend college, earning a bachelor of science degree from Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, South Dakota, a Masters of Education from Texas A&M University and a doctorate of Philosophy from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He married his college sweetheart, Karen Lea Bailey, on August 21, 1960, and together they raised two spectacular daughters, Stephanie and Michaelle, neither of whom ever learned to hold a trouble light in the proper position.

Over 27 years as a Professor of Science Education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, he published two books and innumerable papers, wrote endless grant applications, inspired (or tortured) hundreds of science teachers and started the South Dakota Science Olympiad for middle and high school students.

On May 26, 1990, he married Kathryn Marie Tillo. In 1997, he achieved Professor Emeritus status and relocated with his wife to Green Bay, WI.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Leon and Stanley and sister Carloyn (Janovick). He is survived by his wife, Kathryn; his daughters Stephanie (Gary Johnson) and Michaelle (Don Hochhalter; his sisters Ardelle (Don) Staver and Helen (Dennis) Holliday; his beloved grandson Cole Otto Hochhalter; former wife Karen Otto; brothers and sisters-in-law Vince & Susan Tillo, Ted & Leigh Ann Tillo, and Joe Tillo; father-in-law John Tillo; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Paul's funeral will be held on Saturday, October 7, at 11:00a.m. at Christ of the Bay Lutheran Church, 450 Laverne Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311. Visitation will be from 10:00 - 11:00a.m., and a luncheon will immediately follow the service. Interment, with military honors, will occur Monday, October 9, at 11:00a.m. at Diamond Township Cemetery, south of Aurelia, Iowa - V Avenue (M21) between 620th and 630th Streets. A luncheon will follow at St. John Lutheran Church-Alta, 169 630th Street, Alta, Iowa 51002. The family requests any memorials be directed to Green Bay Trinity Lutheran School, 120 S Henry St, Green Bay, WI 54302, or N.E.W. Lutheran High School, 1311 S. Robinson, Green Bay, WI 54311. Please go to read the full obituary online.
Published in The Argus Leader on Oct. 5, 2017
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