Otto Amen

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  • "Doris and Family. We know you all will miss Otto, but we..."
    - Byron Fitch
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AMEN, Otto
(Age 98)

Passed away on April 24, 2011 in Spokane, Washington. He was the son of George and Anna (Schafer) Amen, born on July 22, 1912 on a farm half way between Ritzville and Odessa, WA. He graduated from Odessa High School in 1930, then worked on the family farm and in Odessa before attending Washington State College. He often credited the delay in starting college as a gift from God, because it allowed him to meet an entering freshman, Doris Jones, whom he later wed. Otto worded his way through college washing dishes, cleaning chemistry laboratories and stocking merchandise at clothing stores. He graduated in 1937 as a pharmacist and worked in Walla Walla and Spokane for a number of years. In 1939, Otto married Doris, who remained his partner for more than 71 years. When Otto's parents retired from farming, he and Doris took over that operation. He also continued working as a relief pharmacist in Ritzville and Odessa until 1967.
Otto became active in the Trinity Methodist Church in Ritzville in various capacities,including lay leader, lay member to the Annual Conference, Sunday School Superintendent, and Chairman of the Board. Otto also was active in farm-related organizations. He served the Washington Association of Wheat Growers as its first secretary-treasurer, as second and first vice president and as its fourth president. Later he helped form the Washington Wheat Commission, served on the Board of the Adams County Soil Conservation District, the Board of Marcellus Grange Cooperative, and in the post of State Coordinator of the Food for Peace Program. A distinct highlight for Otto was his participation in an international trip to demonstrate the uses of wheat for peoples in India, Pakistan, Thailand, Japan, Ceylon and other countries around the world.
For sixteen years, Otto represented citizens from farming communities in eastern Washington as a State Representative to the Legislature in Olympia. There, he served on the Agriculture Committee, chaired the Budget Committee, and was elected to the post of Speaker Pro Tem for four years. After retiring from legislative duties, Otto was appointed to a five-year term on the Public Disclosure Commission. A lifetime WSU Cougar fan, Otto served for several years on the WSU Alumni Board, and in 1984 received the Alumni Achievement Award.
Otto and Doris remained on the family farm on the Adams/Lincoln County line after their retirement until moving to the Rockwood Manor Retirement Community in 2004. They enjoyed traveling in their motor home, visiting state and national parks, boating, fishing, golfing, and visiting with friends. Otto's major hobbies during most of his life include photography and woodworking, but after retirement he also branched out into stained glass design and oil painting.
Survivors include his wife, Doris, now residing at Rockwood Manor in Spokane, two sons - Richard who lives in Del Mar, California with his wife Mary Lou, and Don who lives in The Villages, Florida with his wife Lucrecia - one grandson, Jonathan who lives in Chacago with his wife Mary - and one great grandson, Miles Otto.
After graveside services for the immediate family, a memorial service will be held at the Trinity Methodist Church of Ritzville at 11 A.M., Friday, April 29, 2011.
DANEKAS FUNERAL HOME, Ritzville, WA in charge of arrangements.

Published in Spokesman-Review from Apr. 27 to Apr. 28, 2011
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