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Raymond Norris Otterson

Funeral services for Raymond N. Otterson, age 86, of Clarks Grove will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at Community Lutheran Church in Geneva.  Dr. Kristen Venne, Pastor will officiate.  Interment will be at East Freeborn Cemetery.  Military Honors will be accorded by the V.F.W. and American Legion Honor Guard.  Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Friday, January 22, 2016 at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church.  Online condolences are welcome at www.bayviewfuneral.com
Raymond died January 14, 2016 at St. Mary’s 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, Minnesota.  He graduated from Albert Lea High School June 5, 1947. He had several jobs right out of school; working on the Rock Island railroad, a store clerk at the Lerdal Store and helping to build the meat lockers there.  Ray also worked on several farms as a hired hand.  On March 6, 1948, Ray enlisted in the 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.
While Ray was stationed the first time at Aberdeen, Maryland, he was introduced to Berneice Cox who became his wife when they were married June 25, 1950.  Ray and Berneice had been married for 58 ½ years before Berniece’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’s 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 Company 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 1985-86 Ray served as the President of the 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 the Community Lutheran Church in Geneva, Minnesota.
Ray kept himself active each day helping anyone or his brothers with things that needed being taken care of.  Naturally he enjoyed doing things around his house.
Survivors include Raymond Otterson Jr. of Killeen, TX, Einer (Lynn) Otterson of Arvada, CO, Cindy (Darrel) Hankerson of Auburn, AL, and Valarie (special friend Tom Newman) Otterson of Clarks Grove, MN. Grandchildren: Kimberly Chapman of Troy, TX, Karie (Jeremy) Zierden of Albert Lea, MN, Jillian (Fiancé Matt Bjornberg) Otterson of Savage, MN, Ryan Otterson of Arvada, CO. Great Grandchildren: Logan and Paige Zierden of Albert Lea, MN. Brothers and sisters-in-law; Ardene Otterson, Lloyd S. (Charleen) Otterson, Clifford (Margaret) Otterson, Marlene Otterson, Dovain V. Otterson, Odean S. (Marjorie) Otterson and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial can be sent to family to be used for Diabetes and Geneva Church.  

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Thank you Ray for all the times you remembered  my birthday with a card as well as my anniversary  and Christmas.  Thanks for the hug on my birthday at our Otterson Christmas Party.  You had a big heart and I won't forget how you were there for Mom and Dad in their last days. Rest in Peace, Ray.  Love,  your neice, Kay

Kay Sames Jan 22 2016 12:00 AM

Val, so sorry for your loss. Prayers and deepest sympathy to you and your family.

jackie schultz Jan 22 2016 12:00 AM

As far back as I can remember, you were there to help any and all. You instilled in us your love of God and fellow man. There was never a bad word spoken against anyone and always willing to forgive. You are my hero and the one I wish I could be like. I will try to copy your ways and trust the Lord to guide me as he guided you. You and mom with always be with me in my heart together and smiling happily.

Raymond N Otterson Jr Jan 21 2016 12:00 AM


Dad arrived safely, Mom at his side.
She took his hand gently leading him inside.
Always together and never apart.
This is the memory I'll keep in my heart.
Loving daughter, Cindy

The most kind, gently, and caring man I know. May your days be filled with love, laughter, and Mom by your side.  We love you!

Cindy Jan 20 2016 12:00 AM

Sorry for your loss.  I always received my first Christmas card of the season from your dad.  He was a nice guy.  Blessings to the family.

Paula Jan 19 2016 12:00 AM

Dear Dad, I want to Thank you for your patience, kindness, understanding, and LOVE. We All have learned so much from you and will continue even though your not here with us. You are forever in my heart. Love you Dad

Val Jan 19 2016 12:00 AM

  You will always be the example of how to walk in the eyes of the Lord!  How to be a LOVING HUSBAND, a father to your children, but more important a servant of the Lord to all you came in contact with in your life's journey.

Love you, enjoy your eternal rest with the Lord and family in Heaven.  You are with your beloved wife in eternal Peace and Joy.

Your son Einer

Einer Otterson Jan 19 2016 12:00 AM