July 07, 2018
- 2:00 PM
Dr. Richard D. Ott
Rich Ott, 84, of West Fargo, North Dakota, passed away on June 19, 2018, at Good Samaritan Society Assisted Living in Fargo after a long illness.
Rich was born September 14, 1933, to William and Beatrice Fanger, in St. Louis, Missouri. His mother died when he was an infant, and he was adopted by Frank and Emma Ott, also of St. Louis, where he was raised. He graduated from Ritenour High School, received a B.S. and M.S at The University of Missouri in Columbia, and a PhD at St. Louis University.
As a young man, Rich served over 11 years in the U.S. Army Reserve. He has been a teacher, guidance counselor, high school principal, superintendent, and retired after 21 years as executive director of the North Dakota School Boards Association.
After his first retirement, Rich served as director of the Central Dakota Humane Society, the director of the North Dakota Head Injury Association, 20 months as interim executive director for AID Inc., providing services for the working poor, and numerous other volunteer services and paid stints before finally retiring for good at age 80.
Rich is survived by his wife, Doris; daughters Becky Davis (Mike), Joni Ott (Tom Byrne); stepson Scott Reinke (Angela); grandchildren Jeffrey Davis, Mary Wilson, Joanna Byrne (Derek Cortez), Allison Byrne and Alexandra Reinke; and great-grandson Michael Wilson.
Years ago, Rich wrote his own obituary, which follows.
When this is read, I will be wherever it has been determined that I should go following life in this world.
I was born September 14, 1933, in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, and ended up with the name Richard D. Ott after a series of adoption procedures.
Thanks to everyone for an exciting and satisfying life. Many people, even some I didn’t know, gave me so much. Thanks to all you kind folks.
To my cherished friends and family, I offer a huge bouquet of gratitude.
Special thanks to my oldest daughter, Becky, and her family, and to my youngest daughter, Joni, and her family. From the day each of you girls came along, you’ve been sheer delight.
Then there’s my wife, Doris. Words can never express my appreciation for all she has done for me, and for all she has meant to me. Living with her has been an ongoing courtship.
I’ve asked that there be very little commotion to mark my departure. (But I probably have little to say about that now.) However, rather than having folks take a lot of time away from work, travel a long distance, buy flowers, send cards, establish scholarships, etc., I’d prefer that you go out to a nice restaurant, enjoy a big meal, give me a positive thought and go about your lives.
If you feel compelled to do something beyond this, send a donation to an animal shelter of your choice. Many of my furry friends live there.
May your time on Earth be as happy and rewarding as mine was.
Richard D. Ott.