Orville Carlton Otterness, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died peacefully Wednesday, January 27, 2021. To a fortunate few he was called Dad, to most he was Orv, grandchildren called him Grandpa. As greats came along he became great-grandpa, Gip, or Doc (a boyhood nickname).
Orv was born November 11, 1932, in Spring Valley and was raised in nearby Ostrander, Minn. Three years after graduating 1950 from Spring Valley High School, he joined the U.S. Army where he served for three years. In 1956 he began working for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, retiring after 34 years. After working a few years he accepted a position in the Surveying and Mapping section and in that position he worked and supervised a crew across the state, traveling the state for 29 years.
He loved his Norwegian heritage. He greeted each grandchild and great-grandchild with a hearty Norwegian greeting Hvordan går det? (How goes it?) Every meal was preceded by a blur of a Norwegian table grace. He loved anything Norwegian and was able to visit the Otternes Farm in Norway where his ancestors had lived.
He took great pride in his involvement in The American Legion where he has served on the local, district, state and national levels. He organized the Sons of the Legion Squadron in North Branch. He was an active member of the Sons of Norway Lodge and of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Orv moved to North Branch in 1977 after having been divorced. Shortly after moving there he became active in the local Legion and one of the members introduced him to his wife. A few years later that woman became a widow and he married Bev in 1986. In January 2021 they celebrated 35 years of marriage. During their time together they traveled extensively locally, nationally and globally, loved family events and time together.
Orv was a compassionate and generous man. He loved people and always had a smile for them. It was impossible not to smile when you saw him smile. His face and those Norwegian blue eyes lit up. He was a good neighbor to all he knew.
While he enjoyed young-life hobbies of fishing and hunting, he enjoyed word puzzles, looking up old friends, a good game of cards and meeting with his coffee buddies as he aged, he seemed happiest when he was with his family. When he was more agile he loved dancing, with the polka and waltz as his favorites.
He was preceded in death by his parents Guttorm and Clara, brothers Peter, Glenn, Norvin and sisters Iola and Cornelia; and four nephews.
He is survived by his wife Beverly, children Mary (David Stevenson), Kari (Kirk Garratt), Orrick (Heidi) and Einar (Betsy); stepchildren Tom Anderson (Nancy), Cindy Zinnel (Steve), and Scott Anderson. He is also survived by grandchildren Samantha (Michael) Caldwell, Johanna (Joel) Austin, Nathan Thron, Leighton Thron, Dakota McMahon, Miranda (James) Zinnel, Zachary Zinnel, Megan (Ryan) Piechowski, Britta (Blake) Durtsche, Maren (Ben) Telsey, and April Tacheny. He was a special grandpa to many others. And, he is survived by great-grandchildren David, Cameron, Caroline, Liam, Christopher, Brooklyn, Brittany, Zander, Lincoln, Harper, Beck, Eleanor and Thomas. Also, survived by many nieces and nephews who called him Uncle Doc.
A Celebration of Life gathering is planned for a future summer date. Memorials are suggested to Trinity Lutheran Church in North Branch or to the American Legion.