Compassionate educator, land steward and the guy everyone wanted to sit by at family gatherings... Arland Wayne Otte, died of cancer on September, 21, 2018. (his mom called him "Arland" we all knew him as "Swede" and later, "Bopie.")
On October 11th, 1937, Swede was born, in Northfield, MN. Swede grew up on the family farm near Randolph, MN immersed in family farming. His baby book says his first words were, "Daddy's tractor ain't it?" But like so many of his generation he eventually left the farm for the lights of the city.
Northfield is where he first saw Myrna and her girlfriend walking down Second Street on a December day in 1958. Never shy, he struck up a conversation with the pretty young lumberman's daughter - a conversation that lasted almost 60 years. The young couple harnessed their energy into an amazing career and devoted family. That kid off the farm, graduated from St. Olaf College. He went on to teach and eventually became a High School Principal. After finishing up his Master's Degree, Swede was awarded a Fellowship in the US Department of Education and served a year in Washington D.C. as an Assistant to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Then on to earn his PhD in Educational Administration, and 1968 became the first Dean of Instruction at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Mn. He served it's faculty and students faithfully for 28 years.
Swede retired at 59 and returned to his first love, farming. He and Myrna built their retirement home near Whitewater Park and Swede, "the professor," took to farming like a turkey to a cornfield. A devout "ridge-tiller," he was awarded Winona County's Conservation Farmer of the Year in 2002.
5 children, Michael (Joan) Otte, Sheldon (Jane) Otte, Rachel (Michael) Schaepkens, Maria Elena Lamar and Alison (Nick) Jewell will miss his generosity of self and easy laughter.
13 Grandchildren, Josh (Robin), Ted (Talia), Jake, Dylan, Carlos, Michaela, Kelly, Alexander, Olivia, Nolan, Eli, Ray and Leighton will miss his kind acceptance and ginger snaps. One great-grandchild Farrah, and any others to come will only know our stories of him.
His dad Karl, and mom Irene, passed before. Roxy McElhorne, Bev (Lee) Topp, Walt (Pat) Otte and Mary Ann Lammers will miss their big brother. And Myrna, his wife of 59 years, must say farewell to her beloved husband, friend and travel partner for a lifetime.
His service will be held at Faith Lutheran Church in St. Charles, Minnesota Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 11:30am, with visitation an hour and a half before (10:00-11:30.) Memorials are preferred to historic Trondhjem Church in Lonsdale, MN or to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
4 people have supported the family by purchasing them flowers or gifts from the Healing Registry.
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Always enjoyed serving he family, our prayers are with them.
Chuck and Judy McCarthy
I was lucky enough to meet Swede about 5 years ago or so. We served on the White Water Watershed board. He was fun to be around and we made each other laugh. He was always in a positive mood and lifted everyone else. I will always remember him and smile.
I met Swede approximately 25 years ago at one of the Glacial Ridgetil Club meetings. These meetings were held in the small town of Kandiyohi a few miles east of Willmar MN. Most of the fellas that attended lived within 30 miles of Willmar. Except for the one small humorous fella from a strange place called St. Charles. As time and meetings past I became a good friend to Swede and always looked forward to our visits. A few years back I was fortunate to visit Swede and Myrna at their beautiful home above the Whitewater State Park. I will miss his quick with and sense of humor. Blessed be his memory!
Friends Forever, Mark Dallmann
I was fortunate to meet the Swede, Myrna and the family back in the late 70’s when I had the opportunity to rent their farm. My fondness memory is sitting at their round kitchen table with Swede, Myrna, Ray and Mernita discussing politics and trying to solve world hunger. (Ray and Mernita were the first Republicans that I had ever met, who were fun).
Our thoughts and prayers are with you Myrna and family. The Whitewater Valley is a better place because of Swede and his farming practices.
Chuck Kiefer, Minneapolis
Myrna and family,
We were very saddened to hear of Swede's death from an email Betty Lee sent to us. We extend our condolences and sympathy to all of you, but especially to you Myrna. Unfortunately for us, we are in Ann Arbor this week visiting with a granddaughter who is attending the U of Michigan, so we will miss seeing you and paying our last respect to Swede at the services on Saturday. However, be aware that our thoughts and prayers are with all of you as you work your way through the many activities and emotions involved this week and in the future in memory of Swede, your family patriarch and leader. We'll work on connecting with you again in the near future, Myrna.
Your friends of many years of RHS class of 1955 reunions, as well as many wonderful memories of school years preceding that for Swede and Tom
--Tom and Mary Duff
•I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.
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