Condolences & Tributes

Theodore F. Otten

May 10, 1936 - January 2, 2021

Theodore Frederick Otten, age 84, of Saint Paul, Minnesota was gathered into the arms of his Heavenly Father at 8:22 AM on January 2, 2021.  His transition was peaceful and he died at home, surrounded by music and his children.  

He was born to Frederick and Gertrude Otten on May 10, 1936 in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and Gertrude; his brother, Paul; and his loving wife, Linda, mother of their eight children.

He is survived by his children, Cheryl (Steve Blumke), Linda Sue ( Dan Harms), Valerie (Nathan Carlson), David (Kate Harms), Joy ( Aaron Isakson), Dorinda (Clint Okerstrom), Jonathan (Danielle Simonson), and Nathan as well as grandchildren, Tyler Blumke, Gabriel Otten, Sidney Otten, Wynston Harms, Duran Carlson, Belinda Harms, Nicholas Otten, Isabelle Carlson, Cosette Isakson, Samuel Otten, Claire Isakson, William Harms, Zachary Otten, Dante Carlson, Emerson Isakson, Parker Harms, Clayton Otten, Maia Carlson, Hudson Isakson, Bryce Harms, Marissa Otten, Paxton Carlson, Teodora Otten, Samara Isakson, Xander Otten, and Harrison Otten.

Living in Brazil are his sisters, Trudy (Udo Kuntsman), Hilla (Geraldo Stanke); and brothers, Walter (Lizette) and Norbert (Marlena). “Uncle Ted” is also survived by many nieces and nephews as well as great nieces and nephews.

Theodore "Ted" lived the first 12 years of his life in Brazil attending school in a one room country schoolhouse. His father was born in Germany, educated in the United States, then became a Lutheran missionary who accepted a position as pastor of six congregations in Brazil. His mother was born in Iowa and was a devout, pious woman who was very much loved by her children.

When he was 12, his family came to the United States for a one year furlough. Toward the end of this furlough it was decided that he would stay in Ohio with cousins for one year, due to health concerns. After a year in Ohio, Ted stayed yet another year, with his mother’s sister, while he attended 8th grade at St. Peter’s Lutheran School in Edina. By this time he felt fluent in English and enjoyed life in the US and decided to enroll as a pre ministerial student at    Concordia Academy, a four year all-male boarding school. After high school, he attended Concordia College, St. Paul where he graduated in 1957. He loved singing in the Concordia choir, and had fond memories of the choir tours. He went on to study at Concordia St. Louis Seminary and Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois, concluding his formal education with a Masters Degree in Education. 

He married the love of his life, Linda Rodenbeck on July 29,1961. He was a devoted husband and father, who always put his love for his family above any career ambitions or aspirations in this life. Ted loved music (especially sacred choral) and desired that all his children would learn music. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren, especially attending concerts.  He was a quiet, spiritual man, who had strong faith, lived his personal convictions and always put the best construction on everyone and everything. His family and faith always came first and though he lived his life on 2 continents, he always lived knowing that heaven is his true home.

He worked as an elementary school teacher from 1961-1992 in Kentucky, Indiana, and finally at Christ’s Household of Faith School in St. Paul, Minnesota.  After his years of teaching, he remained active, driving school bus, until he turned 80 years old.  He took great care to greet each student by name.

Ted will be greatly missed by his 8 children and 26 grandchildren, as well as his extended family, friends, and the community he so faithfully served.