Robert James Otto, age 76 of Crystal, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sept. 19, 2021, at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home, Park River, following 14 years battling several illnesses.
Robert was born on Nov. 5, 1944, in Grafton to Fred and Eileen (Shephard) Otto.
He grew up on the farm at rural Crystal. He and his brothers learned farming from their father at an early age.
After graduating from Crystal Public School, he attended UND. During his university days he was an active member of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship where he made many life long friends. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor fraternity. He was in Army ROTC and after graduating, he served in the military which included a tour of duty in Vietnam. By the end of his military career, he had achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Robert returned home to farm with his father and brother. He was active in the Crystal Methodist Church. Robert was a lifelong learner as evidenced by his extensive library. He had a wealth of knowledge in many subjects. He also was a world traveler, traveling to six continents in his lifetime. His travels took him to visit and help missionary friends, study in France and Switzerland, scuba dive, ski, whale watch, climb pyramids and countless other adventures.
Robert loved his role as uncle and great uncle and was dearly loved by his nieces and nephews. He was always so interested in their lives, studies and careers. They considered him one of the smartest people they knew, and he was often a source of help with homework assignments.
He is survived by siblings, John (Marsha) Otto, Zephyrhills, Florida, Barbara (Bradley) Bergem, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Bruce (Susan) Otto, Crystal, and Beth (Reuben) Viland, West Fargo; 11 nieces and nephews; several great nieces and nephews; an uncle; an aunt; and numerous cousins.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents; and niece, Andrea Viland.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at 2 p.m. at Cavalier Evangelical Free Church, Cavalier.
Online guestbook at www.askewfuneralhome.com.