Raymond Otterson, 1929-2016

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Funeral services for Raymond N. Otterson, 86, of Clarks Grove will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Community Lutheran Church in Geneva. The Rev. Kristen Venne will officiate. Interment will be at East Freeborn Cemetery. Military honors will be accorded by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion honor guard. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church. Online condolences are welcome at www.bayviewfuneral.com.

Raymond Otterson

Raymond Otterson

Raymond died Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester.

Raymond Norris Otterson was born June 13, 1929, to Omar Otterson and Sophia Jacobson on his grandfather, Nels C. Jacobson’s, farm north of Lerdal. He graduated from Albert Lea High School June 5, 1947. He had several jobs right out of school. He worked on the Rock Island railroad, was a store clerk at the Lerdal Store and helped to build the meat lockers there. Ray also worked on several farms as a hired hand. On March 6, 1948, Ray enlisted in the United States Army at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He served 21 years in the Army, serving as an administrative noncommissioned officer. Ray was stationed in Bremerhaven, Germany; Aberdeen, Maryland; Indian Head, Maryland; Anchorage, Alaska; Leavenworth, Kansas; and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. He also served in Vietnam.

Email newsletter signup

While Ray was stationed the first time at Aberdeen, he was introduced to Berneice Cox who became his wife when they were married June 25, 1950. Ray and Berneice had been married for over 58 years before Berneice’s death in 2008.

When Ray retired from the Army, he returned to Minnesota and built a home in Clarks Grove. He worked a short period of time at Streater until there was a shortage of work. He then went to work at Universal Milking Machines until 1971. In 1971 Ray and Berneice opened the Grove Café and ran it until 1973. In March of 1973 Ray started working at Enders Tool Co. in Albert Lea until August of 1993 when he retired.

In 1981 Ray joined the Legion’s Careyares, all male chorus, where he served as junior vice president and senior vice president. In 1985 and 1986, Ray served as the president of Albert Lea Post 56 American Legion. He enjoyed being president of the Sons of Norway. Ray was very involved in the church and it had been a very important part of his life. He served as the president of Community Lutheran Church in Geneva.

Ray kept himself active each day helping anyone or his brothers with things that needed to be taken care of. Naturally, he enjoyed doing things around his house.

Survivors include children Raymond Otterson Jr. of Killeen, Texas, Einer (Lynn) Otterson of Arvada, Colorado, Cindy (Darrel) Hankerson of Auburn, Alabama, SoldierSaluteFlagand Valarie (special friend, Tom Newman) Otterson of Clarks Grove; grandchildren Kimberly Chapman of Troy, Texas, Karie (Jeremy) Zierden of Albert Lea, Jillian (fiance, Matt Bjornberg) Otterson of Savage, Ryan Otterson of Arvada; great-grandchildren Logan and Paige Zierden of Albert Lea; brothers and sisters-in-law Ardene Otterson, Lloyd S. (Charleen) Otterson, Clifford (Margaret) Otterson, Marlene Otterson, Dovain V. Otterson and Odean S. (Marjorie) Otterson; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to be sent to family to be used for diabetes and the Geneva church.