Cover photo for Thomas R. Otte's Obituary
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Thomas R. Otte

Tom passed away Sunday, January 5, 2020 at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.

He was born July 6, 1947 in Battle Creek the son of Richard and Ellyn (Thomas) Otte. For 20 years he had worked as a driver for Fed Ex until his retirement. Tom loved the open road and in his retirement had hauled boats and trailers. He enjoyed hot rods, motorcycles, traveling, spending time in the sun by the beach and following U of M football. He was happiest sipping coffee and enjoying good conversation with family and friends.

On April 15, 1972 he married Deborah Loftis who survives.

Also surviving are his children, Kyle (Lisa Cass) Otte and their children, Mesa Rose, Aslyn and Morrison of Colorado, Ashley (Gracie) Otte and their children, Joshua and London of California, Colin Otte of California, Carly (Ryan Cook) Otte of Colorado and Oakley Otte and Rylee Boland of California; sister, Linda (Mike) Rosenow of Harbor Springs, special cousin, Cid Richardson, Mike, Carole and Kay Otte of Montana. Tom is also survived by Dianne, Barry, Chris, Doug, Connie, Steve, Carole, Carmel, Reb, John, Sally and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

According to his wishes cremation has taken place.

Friends may visit with Tom’s family from 6-8 P.M., Saturday, January 11, 2020 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego.

Contributions in memory of Tom may be made to the

American Kidney Fund


Messages of condolence may be posted at


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Condolence Messages

JoAnn Burchett

January 6, 2020 at 2:26 pm

My heart goes out to you and the kids, Debbie. May God grant you peace.



January 6, 2020 at 3:59 pm

So truly sorry. Tom was a fun loving guy and we loved him. So glad we got to know him. Our prayers are with you and the kids.


Mary Higgins

January 6, 2020 at 4:07 pm

Most sincere condolences Debbie and your whole big wonderful family ❣️ Big hugs to all.


Joe Casares

January 6, 2020 at 4:09 pm

Prayers for you Debbie and your family, hugs to you ❤️❤️


Carol Kelly

January 6, 2020 at 4:14 pm

So very sorry. He was a fun loving guy and we loved him. Our prayers are with you and the kids.


Filippo and Maria

January 6, 2020 at 4:22 pm

This unexpected news makes us very sad. Our thoughts and prayers are for you all…..for my friend Oak, Carly…..for Dabbie and whole family.


Mike Hanners

January 6, 2020 at 4:31 pm

Hello Debbie and Family, so sorry on the passing of your husband and father to the children. You are definitely in my thoughts and prayers and God Bless. Mike Hanners


Janice Stone

January 6, 2020 at 4:37 pm

Dear Deb & family,

Tom was a grand guy who loved life and a good debate! He will be so missed by all who really knew and loved him…

We will remember his laughter as we send our love and condolences to you!

Jan & Randy Stone


Bob Brink

January 6, 2020 at 4:37 pm

Good Bye my True and Trusted Friend

We became friends at Loy Norrix in 1965 and after several years of just bumping into each other on the road. About 2 years ago we began having lunch or breakfast on a regular basis. We could talk for hours. My last visit with Tom was Saturday December 28th. Tom was jovial and talked at length of his love for his family and how much he admired his wife Deb. The respect he had for her devotion, love and her caring so much and helping Tom in his battles. Imagine if you will; two 70+ guys in a care facility crying like young children…. Tom seemed to bring out the best in me in good times and bad. I will always have a smile on my face when I think of Tom Otte.

I love you Tom, you will be a part of my life until we meet again. ( as Pink Floyd said ” I will see you on the dark side of the moon”

Bob Brink


Sherry Hanson

January 6, 2020 at 4:38 pm

Deb & Family – I’m so sorry to hear of Toms passing . My thoughts & prayers are with you all .

Sherry Hanson


Bob Sagan

January 6, 2020 at 4:40 pm

God Bless is all as we head to another dimension. Tom was my friend and member of the very exclusive “Three Amigos” brother in law club with Doug. I’ll miss him but know where he’s now is a great improvement for him. All my love to Deb n the kids!


Brian & Lynette McPherson

January 6, 2020 at 4:47 pm

So sorry Deb & family. Praying for you all.


Mark Van Domelen

January 6, 2020 at 4:48 pm

My deepest condolences to you cousin Deb and your entire family so sad and sorry to hear …. a lot of good memories Over the years


Chuck ippel

January 6, 2020 at 4:51 pm

Debbie and family,

I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and dad. You are so b my prayers and thoughts. Hugs and love to you Deb

Chuck ippel


Paula Bouma Wroe

January 6, 2020 at 6:00 pm

May healing find you soon in comforting one another. Honor his legacy in sharing the fondest memories. I will never forget his infectious chuckle. What an incredible loss. All my love Otte Family


Maria Hawk

January 6, 2020 at 6:07 pm

I’m so sorry to hear this news. I loved chatting with Tom during the time I worked at Mezzo in Otsego. He always shared great stories and the best advice. Sending love and prayers during this time.



January 6, 2020 at 6:10 pm

Dear Deb,

We are so sorry for your loss. Our condolences to you and your family.

The Kasianowicz family


Cris & Kathy Telgard

January 6, 2020 at 6:53 pm

Deb and Otte family, Kathy and I send our deepest sympathies to you for the loss of your beloved Tom, a great husband and dad. We wish you strength and peace during this sad time. Special love to you, Deb.


Wilma Nunemaker

January 6, 2020 at 7:33 pm

Deb, I am so sorry to read about your husband, my prayers go out to you and your family.


Emily Hedges

January 6, 2020 at 8:09 pm

Deb, we are so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. We are keeping you and the family in our prayers.

Dan & Emily Hedges


Jackie Elder Kingsnorth

January 6, 2020 at 8:26 pm

Deb and family,

I was very sad to hear of the loss of your husband, father and grandfather. Please know I will be praying for your and your family. Love, Jackie


Kathy Brockelbank

January 6, 2020 at 9:20 pm

Debbie I am so so sorry my heart goes out to you and the kids Tom was such a wonderful guy he will truly be missed if I can do anything please give me a call or message me love you guys


Rosemary Parker

January 6, 2020 at 9:20 pm

I’m so sorry. My condolences to you all.


Patricia Wilcox

January 6, 2020 at 10:22 pm

Debbie, I am so very sorry for the loss of your husband, Tom. Sending my sincere sympathy to you and all of the kids. May God encircle you with His love and blessings in this difficult time. May you find peace, comfort, and understanding in the days ahead.


Kim & Jay Southern

January 6, 2020 at 11:06 pm

Jay & I send our deepest sympathies to you Deb and all your kids. We remember Tom’s kind smile. God Bless and love to all, Kim & Jay


Linda Eagle

January 8, 2020 at 10:56 am

Dear family,

I know of you through Carmel, and have had the honor to pray through this difficult time. I am now praying for comfort as only God can give you. I’m so sorry for your pain… and wish there were words… but have only tears as you say, “see you later” to this wonderful man!



Sue Derhammer Kovach

January 7, 2020 at 12:25 am

Dearest Debbie and family:

I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious husband and father. You are in my prayers and I hope that soon, you will all find peace in the wonderful and loving memories of him.


Connie Easterly

January 7, 2020 at 2:31 am

Sincere condolences to you, Debbie, and your family. Although we have never met, Oakley loves his family, talks about you often, and I feel as though we are all connected. You are in my prayers.

From Ginny Boland’s Mom.


Mary beauchamp

January 7, 2020 at 6:09 am

Our deepest sympathy Debbie and to your family. Was so sad and when I seen this.Prayers of comfort in this hard time for you and your family


Claudia and Danny Gatti

January 7, 2020 at 6:21 am

Debbie I am sorry for your loss, my heart and prayers are with your family. God bless you.


Candy (Adams) Pierce

January 7, 2020 at 7:13 am

Dear Debbie,

My heart and prayers are with you and your family as you mourn the passing of your dear husband and friend. He must’ve been a terrific guy to fall in love with you.

Always your friend, Candy



January 7, 2020 at 9:32 am

Dearest Otte family,

My heart is sad to hear this news. I am so sorry. Debbie I only met Tom a few times. He was always so kind, warm and welcoming. An amazing Otte trait I have seen in his kids Kyle, Ashley, Carley, Colin and Oakley, . From stories I have heard from Kyle of his Dad I could tell how much he was loved. I learned that Tom was a good father who loves all his children and cherishes the times he has with them. The love Kyle has for his Dad is testament of who Tom was. I know you will be missed Tom. Very very very much!!! and you will always be loved by your beautiful family.

My thoughts, love and big hug to you Debbie, Kyle, Oakley, Carley,Ashley and Colin. I hold each of you close to my heart. ~Caroline Brackmann


Steve Milbocker

January 7, 2020 at 10:02 am

Dear Deb and kids, Elliot just sent me this terrible news. We have so many fond memories of Tom and your entire family. I’m so sorry for your loss… Steve,Adam,Elliot and Spencer


Don Marek

January 7, 2020 at 10:40 am

Debbie and family

Please accept my condolence. His moustache stands out along with his love for the highway and bikes. Wish’n you Debbie, and your whole family lots of love.


Mark Stull

January 7, 2020 at 12:10 pm

Deb, sorry for your loss! I have lots of good memories of Tom, may you R.I.P. my friend!


Georgia Newman

January 7, 2020 at 12:14 pm

Wish Roger and I were nearby so could offer condolences in person. What a wonderful family you and Tom brought to our community. You were contributors in so many ways. Love to you and your amazing children,, it was a pleasure to have them in my classrooms. And a special pleasure to have you as a business neighbor Deb. Sending you my love and prayers.


Montana Ottes

January 7, 2020 at 12:50 pm

Dear Deb and kids much luv a part of my heart is gone forever.


Diana Clason

January 7, 2020 at 3:03 pm

To Debbie an family so sorry to hear of your loss my condolences .


Amy Remmert

January 7, 2020 at 4:33 pm

Hello Deb. I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. I’m thinking of you at this difficult time and hope that you will find peace. The healing will take time. In friendship. Amy Rek Remmert


Shari finos

January 7, 2020 at 6:00 pm

I am so sorry for the loss of Tom. A great husband and father. My thoughts and prayers are for you and the entire family


Tiam & Diane McPherson

January 8, 2020 at 4:34 pm

Debbie–Our prayers and sympathy to you and your family.

Tim & Diane


Clara Howeigon

January 8, 2020 at 5:03 pm

So sorry for you and your family in your loss. May God give you peace and comfort.

My all your memories give you strength.


Debbie and Dave Cobb

January 8, 2020 at 7:20 pm

I met Deb and Tom while working at the local credit union. Tom used to stop in and have a seat at my desk and visit frequently. I got to learn all about Deb & Tom, their 4 kids, lots of stories about travelling and the family. Tom also had a real love of old cars, so he and my husband got to be friends too. They shared lots of stories about the hot rod power tour and their love of cars. I always found Tom’s stories interesting about their travels and life over the years. What a wonderful couple. My heart goes out to Deb, the kids and grandkids losing such a great, fun loving nice man.

I will always remember that mustache and warm smile. So sorry for your loss.


Debbie Cobb

January 8, 2020 at 7:26 pm

So sorry Otte family, I said 4 kids, when I knew there were 5……he talked of all of you often.


Todd & Marilynn Lancaster

January 8, 2020 at 8:21 pm

We were so sad to here of Tom’s passing. He was such a great guy and he will be missed by all. Our thoughts are with all your family in this tough time.


Kevin Treacy

January 8, 2020 at 10:37 pm

Dear Deb,

I heard from Don and Phyllis about the passing away of your husband Tom.

You have my deepest condolences and wishes for peace for you and your family.May you find strength.


Kevin Treacy


Ryan & Jody Norton

January 9, 2020 at 9:36 am

Rest In Peace Uncle Tom!

I’ll miss all your Cali stories. And always having a someone to ask car questions to that I can trust. Some of my earliest memories are of running a muck as a child in Otsego with my cousins through the fields and on the back of Kyle’s dirt bike. Thank u for Coming to all those football and basketball games to support me. We are so honored that u were with us on our wedding day. We will always love and miss u! REST IN PEACE UNCLE!


Jill Schwanke

January 9, 2020 at 10:41 am

Deb, kids and Linda our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love to all.

Aunt Arloa and Jill


Lori Laughlin

January 10, 2020 at 8:20 am

Otte Family–

So sorry to hear of your tremendous loss. Holding you all in my heart during this difficult period.


Diane Belden

January 11, 2020 at 11:46 am


So very sorry for your loss. I only knew Tom through your eyes and heart.

When your heart is ready memories can help heal.

Diane Belden


Lee and Julie Vilas

January 11, 2020 at 1:50 pm

Deb and family, I was so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. His fun loving and kind spirit will be greatly missed. Love and prayers for your family.


Barb Schreuder

January 11, 2020 at 5:33 pm

So sorry for your loss. My condolences to your entire family.


Jane and Michael McDaniels

January 11, 2020 at 11:09 pm

Dear Deb and Family,

We were so sorry to learn of Tom’s passing. We had great times with you both in Colorado when Ashely and Chas attended CU. You and your family are dear to us. We hope you find strength in the love of family and friends, and peace in your hearts.


Jane bouma

January 12, 2020 at 12:28 pm

Dear Deb and family,, so very sorry to hear about Tom passing away! Didn’t really get a chance to talk with you… . Just wanted to let you know you’re all in our thoughts and prayers .

With love,,, the Bouma family


Carol Wise Anderson

January 12, 2020 at 2:49 pm

Debbie and family,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You were lucky to have Tom in your life, and Tom was lucky to have you. May you cherish all the good times and memories.


~Bill and Janice Thompson

January 14, 2020 at 9:54 am

… Debbie and Family … Our Deepest Condolences To Everyone.



January 23, 2020 at 12:30 pm

Deb, so sorry for your family’s loss.I think the world of you and Tom will miss him . Your contribution to the community is genuine and heartfelt.

Bless you all


Kipp Rietkerk

May 28, 2020 at 6:29 pm

Rest in peace old friend


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