Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 7, 2009
Ernest H. Ottjes, age 87, of rural Stewartville, Minn., died Thursday, June 4, 2009 of natural causes at the Stewartville Care Center, where he had lived for the past two months.
Ernest was born on Jan. 11, 1922 in rural Mower County. He grew up on the family farm, attended rural schools and farmed with his family. Ernest served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1945 in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. He achieved the rank of sergeant and received the Purple Heart after being wounded on Okinawa.
Following his discharge, he was married on March 23, 1946 in Stewartville to Marian E. Beach. After their marriage the couple moved to a farm in rural Stewartville in 1951 where they farmed and have continued to make their home. Ernest was a Mayo Clinic employee for 23 years until retiring in 1984.
He was a member of Sumner Center United Methodist Church, where he served on the Trustees and Finance committees and was a member of the Stewartville American Legion Post 164 and its VFW.
Survivors include his wife: Marian Beach, Stewartville, Minn.; daughter: Julie (Joe) Brossard, Chandler, Minn.; four sons: James (Karen) Ottjes, Akron, Ind.; Alan (Kathy) Ottjes, Stewartville; Leslie (partner, Robert Trapp) Ottjes, Rochester, Minn., Terry Ottjes, Stewartville.; nine grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Elizabeth (Schatzberg) Ottjes; an infant sister, two brothers and seven other sisters.
The funeral for Ernest will be at 11 a.m., on Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at Sumner Center United Methodist Church in rural Racine, Minn. with the Rev. Victoria Ashley officiating. Burial with military graveside honors by the Stewartville American Legion and its VFW will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Stewartville.
Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, June 8, 2009 at Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville and one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday morning. The family prefers memorials to the Sumner Center United Methodist Church, the American Diabetes Association or the Alzheimer’s Association.