James Phillip Otto


James Phillip Otto was born one of twelve children to Nicholas and Elizabeth (Hubert) Otto in Douglas Township, Dakota County, MN on May 1, 1934. He grew up in rural New Trier and attended St. Mary’s Catholic School. Jim married Donna Falk on June 28, 1958, and they raised five children together.

Jim worked on the railroad for six years, and for most of his life, was a heavy equipment operator. He was a proud member of the Operating Engineers Local #49. In his retirement, he loved working on his hobby farm. His passion for his draft horses and cattle made for the best farm life! He also enjoyed visiting Amish farms and a good hand of Euchre.

On Saturday evening, April 29, 2023, Jim joined his beloved wife of 60 years in eternal life. He will be remembered for his quick wit and warm, mischievous smile.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Donna; infant son, Timothy; and siblings, Marie Lorentz, Betty Rother, Dick, Nick, John, Harold, Ray, Bill, Leo, and George.

He is survived by children, Gery (Debbie) of Hastings, James (Sara) of Cannon Falls, Susan (Joe) O’Gorman of Cannon Falls, Richard (Terry) of Hampton, and Randal (Tammy) of Hastings; 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; brother, Joe Otto; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A funeral mass was held on Saturday, May 13 at 11:00am, with visitation from 10:00-11:00am, at St. Pius V Catholic Church, Cannon Falls. A private family interment was at the church cemetery. Urn bearers were his grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to donor’s choice in memory of Jim.