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Florian J. Otto, 90

Florian J. Otto, age 90, of Niles, MI, formerly of Winsted, died Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010, at West Woods of Niles after a long, blessed life.

He was born July 21, 1919, in Winsted, to Clemens and Martha (Bisping) Otto.

Florian came of age in the Great Depression and was a veteran of World War II, serving in the US Navy in the Pacific Theater.

After his tour of the duty, he was married to Frances Fruth June 17, 1946, in St. Paul.

Florian earned his bachelor of science degree in agronomy from the University of Minnesota in 1948. He was employed by DuPont in research and development for many years, and then in sales. He retired in 1985, after 38 years of service.

Growing up on a farm, Florian wanted to keep his family close to the earth. They moved to Niles in 1952, and established the Lavender Hill Farm, a small farm with sheep and a large garden. The family (and the sheep) are still there.

Florian was an avid sports fan. Most of his family learned to face adversity by being fans of the Detroit Lions over the years along with him.

He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Niles.

Florian is survived by his wife of 63 years, Frances Otto; their eight children, Therese ( Matthew) Sarec of Dacula, GA, Fr. David Otto of Niles, MI, Mark (Jennifer) Otto of Lansing, MI, Stephen (Mary) Otto of Rochelle, IL, Fred (Michelle) Otto of St. Paul, Francis (Stella) Otto of Empire, MI, Nona (Lee) Blauvelt of Lansdale, PA, and Martha (Bill) Wilczynski of Niles, MI; 16 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sisters Helen Curran of Farmington, MN, and Non Weinbeck of Winchester, VA; a brother, Austin Otto of Winsted; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and by five brothers and sisters.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Friday, Jan. 29, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Niles, MI by his son, the Rev. David Otto of the parish. Committal rites followed at Calvary Cemetery, Niles, and concluded with the veteran’s flag presentation and “Taps” by American Legion Post 26 of Niles, MI.

Visitation was Thursday, Jan. 28 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, with a scripture service at 7:30 p.m., and continued Friday at 10 a.m. at the church.

Contributions in memory of Florian may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic School in Niles.

Arrangements were with the Halbitter Funeral Home in Niles, MI.