Otto Smith, 87, of Findlay, died peacefully on Feb. 11, 2022, at Bridge Hospice Care Center in Findlay, with his loving wife by his side following an extended illness.
On Sept. 8, 1934, Otto was born in Prestonsburg, Ky., one of eight children of the late Frank and Nettie J. (Frasure) Smith. As a family, they moved to Carey, where he attended Carey schools. Believing the power of good luck, he carried three lucky silver dollars in his pocket from the time he was 20 years old.
Otto enlisted to serve his beloved country in the U.S. Army from 1956-1958.
Upon his honorable discharge, Otto returned home to Carey, where he started working at Swan Rubber. He later moved on to the Penn-Central Railroad, where he was an electrician. He later worked for Atlas Crankshaft Corporation in Fostoria. In 1990, he retired from Marathon Oil Company in Findlay after 13 years of service. Otto was also known for his carpentry work, especially detailed finishing.
On June 10, 1967, Otto married the love of his life, Mary Lou Fortman, and together they shared 54 wonderful years of marriage. Some said, “It wouldn’t last.” They also enjoyed being snowbirds, heading south to winter in Haines City, Fla., for over 30 years.
With a lifelong love for country music, Otto loved to sing and play the guitar, playing in several bands in Ohio and Florida over the years. A couple of his favorite songs to share were, “Old Country Church” for Janice Smith and “My Best Friend” for his wife, Mary Lou. He loved to dance and sing to the song “Johnny Be Good.”
He loved playing cards, especially euchre and poker, and having a captive audience for one of his good jokes or stories. Known as “OTTO-MATIC,” coined by the Van Der Molen’s, Otto also enjoyed playing slow pitch softball. He enjoyed driving nice cars and riding his trike.
A happy go lucky kind of guy, Otto always had a smile on his face and never met a stranger. He made fast friends everywhere he went. Another secret to his happiness came from his love for ice cream, cookies and bean soup.
His family feels blessed to know Otto is in a better place, accepting the Lord into his life and getting baptized on Feb. 6.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Mary Lou Smith of Findlay; a brother, James (Pat) Smith of Findlay; two sisters, Lois Will of Carey, and Phyllis Poole of Findlay; a sister-in-law, Sandy Smith of Findlay; the Fortman in-laws: Jerry Fortman of Sylvania, Kathy (Bob) Salisbury of Ottawa, and Diane (Jeff) Clark of Holland; oodles of nieces and nephews; and man’s best friend, his sweet little, Sheena.
Otto was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Oren Allen, Jesse Smith and Franklin Smith; loving sister, Kathryn Caudill; two sisters-in-law, Rita Allen and Geneva Smith; and two brothers-in-law, Mervin Will and, his best friend, Leroy “Shorty” Caudill.
Services honoring Otto’s life will be observed privately by his family with his good friend, the Rev. Chet Conley officiating. Burial will follow at Spring Grove Cemetery in Carey, with military graveside services conducted by the Carey Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions may be made to Bridge Home Health and Hospice or 50 North and they may be sent to the funeral home.
Condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.StombaughBatton.com.
So sorry to hear of Otto’s death.