Former Athens resident and proud veteran Rodney J. Otto died peacefully Sept. 1, 2017, at the age of 85 from a sudden illness. He was surrounded by his family at his home in Pasadena, Calif.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marlene; his son, Tim Otto; daughter, Teri and husband, Frank Grimmer; son, Gary Otto, and wife, Amy; his grandchildren, Joey and Amber Grimmer; his brothers, Wilbur and Jerry; his sister, Ruby; and many nieces and nephews.
Rod was born to Devina Fenhaus and Hugo Otto on March 10, 1932, on a dairy farm in Athens where he grew up, an experience that informed the rest of his life. After graduating from Athens High School, Rod joined the Army and proudly served in the Korean War. He married Marlene Riehle of Athens in 1959, and moved from Wisconsin to Pasadena, Calif. The couple had four children together, including Tommy, who died in infancy. He was a great family man, a loving father and grandfather. Rod opened the Hasting Ranch Barber Shop in Pasadena in 1959, where he worked for 28 years before moving his barber shop to Sierra Madre, Calif. In his 58 years of being a barber he enjoyed a loyal customer base. Thanks to Rod’s varied interests, love of conversation and genuine compassion for others, frequently his customers became dear friends. Rod was involved with BSA Troop 31 at Assumption Catholic Church in Pasadena and St. Rita’s Catholic Church’s Troop 110 in Sierra Madre. Rod enjoyed the outdoors, nature, enjoying the horse races at Santa Anita racetrack and was an avid reader of diverse subjects. His friends, neighbors and family will always remember him as a kind and generous man with a great sense of humor.
A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at St. Rita’s church, 300 N. Baldwin Ave., Sierra Madre, Calif. 91024, with a reception to follow at O’Malley Hall. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Rod’s life.