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Louisville, KY 40218
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Lee Walter Otto


1941 - 2020
Lee Walter Otto Obituary
Lee Walter Otto

Louisville - On March 20, 2020, at 78 years of age, Lee Walter Otto left the world the same way he came into it…on his own terms. He fought cancer until he didn't want to fight it anymore, then put down his gloves and followed God's call home.

Born on October 15, 1941, Lee was the youngest of eight children raised on a farm in Michigan. He spent his life working as an electrical engineer for General Electric but will primarily be remembered by friends and family for two other things: his woodworking skills and his music. Throughout his life, he crafted treasures like six-foot rocking horses, a treehouse that watched his youngest daughter grow up, and a dining table around which his great-great grandchildren will one day commune. But nowhere was Lee more in his element than when seated in front of a keyboard. For years, he moved congregations to tears with his powerful organ hymns. He accompanied hundreds, if not thousands of singers and choirs, bending over the ivories, eyes closed and swaying, feeling the music flow through his veins and letting it pour through his fingertips for the rest of us savor. Whether playing Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee, Rachmaninoff's Second or Third Concerto, or Tchaikovsky's Concerto in B Flat Minor, Lee's talent left an indelible impression on everyone who ever had the privilege of hearing him play.

Lee married Karen Carr-Otto in 2007, who survives him. Lee is also survived by his brother Harry (wife Julie), his son Shawn (wife Melissa; children Taylor, Morgan, and Nicholas), his daughter Shannon (husband Greg; children Cassidy and Tye), his daughter Courtney (husband Ross), his son Joerg (wife Katrin; daughter Alexandra), his stepdaughter Cherie Williamson (husband Russ, children Oliver, Carson, and Guss), and several other nieces and nephews.

In light of Covid-19, we are asking anyone other than immediate family to honor Lee's passing with a moment of silence from home. The memorial service was held on Sunday, March 22, 2020, at Ratterman and Sons Funeral Home located at 3800 Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky. The family asks that people make donations to the or St. Jude's in lieu of sending flowers.
Published in The Courier-Journal from Mar. 22 to Mar. 29, 2020
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