Donald Joseph Ott, 90, formerly of La Crescent, MN died peacefully early Saturday, January 24, 2015, at Bethany St. Joseph Nursing Home in La Crosse, WI surrounded by his loving wife, children and wonderful staff. He was born in Preston, MN on Sept. 6, 1924, to William G. and Mary Louise (Dean) Ott. He married Marian Ries on May 22, 1947 at St. Josephâ€™s Catholic Church in Garnavillo, IA.
Don served his country in the US Army during World War II in the 733rd Railroad Battalion in England, France, Belgium & Germany from 1943-46. He worked for the Milwaukee Railroad from 1938-43 and 1946-1986 in numerous cities in MN, IA, IL and WI. He then settled in La Crescent, MN in 1954 and was a resident until 2014. He was an accomplished trumpet and coronet player and was a part of the US Military band and several civilian bands. He loved Al Hirt. He served the Boys Scouts of America as a Scout Master for Troop 98 of La Crescent, Minn. and enjoyed canoeing and camping for many years. He was always fixing and teaching others to fix things. He was an avid gardener, fisherman and hunter. He was known for his outrageous nicknames he bestowed on his family, friends and acquaintances. He was very active member of the â€œApple Peelersâ€ for the â€œPie Ladiesâ€ St. Peterâ€™s School until mid 2014 and will be missed. He was lovingly known for making outstanding homemade breads. He was a member of Church of the Crucifixion for the past 60 years. He assisted in various additions and expansions of the church and school. In more recent years, he also helped with remodeling the school kitchen and convent, replacing carpet in the music room, and painting classrooms. His unwavering faith and strong work ethics were evident to anyone who met him.
He is survived by his wife, Marian, resident of Bethany St. Joseph Nursing Home, La Crosse, WI formerly of La Crescent, MN by his eight children, Michael (Victoria Burckart) Ott of Houston, MN Thomas (Karen Carmody) Ott of Houston, MN Elizabeth (Michael) Schaffer of Houston, MN Jerome (Marjorie Opsahl) Ott of Wabasha, MN Margaret (Dwayne) Johnson of La Crescent, MN Madonna (Rocky) Gile of Rockford, IL David (Christine Conrad) Ott of Eau Claire, WI and Joan (George) Wright of La Crescent, MN. He is also survived by 29 Grandchildren, 36 Great Grandchildren and 2 Great-Great Grandchildren. He is further survived by one sister; Agnes Dockendorff of Las Vegas, NV., and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by one child, Louise Annette, his parents, William and Mary Louise, and stepmother, Marge, one brother, William Dean Ott, and two sisters, Clara Boehm and Cecelia Forman, and a grandson, John William Ott. May they rest in peace.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 (Noon) Wednesday, January, 28. 2015 in The Church of the Crucifixion Catholic Church, 423 So. 2nd St., La Crescent, Minn. Rev. Gregory G. Havel will officiate at the Mass with burial and Military rites by the La Crescent American Legion Post 595, to be held in Crucifixion Cemetery, La Crescent, Minn., following the Mass. Family and friends may call from 10:30 a.m. until the time of Mass in the Church on Wednesday with a Rosary to be held at 11:40 a.m.