Otto Hartmann

Otto M. Hartmann Sr., age 91, of Gibbon, passed peacefully with his family by his side Sunday, March 1, 2020, at the Fairfax Community Home in Fairfax. Mass of christian burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at St. Willibrord’s Catholic Church in Gibbon. Father Bruno Santiago will celebrate the Mass and burial will follow in St. Willibrord’s Catholic Cemetery in rural Gibbon. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. on Friday and continue from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Saturday at St. Willibrord’s Catholic Church. Minnesota Valley Funeral Home of Gibbon is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave an online condolence for his family, or to sign the guestbook, go to: mvfh.org Otto is survived by his daughters, Lenora (Jerome) Zitzman of New Ulm, Mary Ellen (Melvin) Eckstein of Fairfax, Jermayne (Duane) Mages-Kuss of Cold Spring; his daughter-in-Law, Cory Hartmann of Sioux Falls, SD; his sons, Michael (Diane) Hartmann of Gibbon, Roger (Janet) Hartmann of Kansas, Otto Jr. (Bonnie) Hartmann of Gibbon, Greg (Ann) Hartmann of Gibbon; 24 grandchildren and 44 great-grandchildren; his sister Verna Joel of New Ulm; brother and sister-in-law, Fred (Verna) Hartmann of Thief River Falls, sister-in-law Kathleen Schleif of Owatonna, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 70 years, Mary Jane Hartmann; his son Warren Hartmann; son-in-law, Duane Mages; granddaughter, Paula Mages; grandson, Douglas Mages; brother and sister-in-law, Howard and Bernice Hartmann; sister-in-law Margie Hartmann; brother-in-law, Leroy Joel; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Gilbert and Helen Wendinger; and brother-in-law, Ron Schleif. Otto Michael Hartmann was born May 20, 1928, in West Newton Township to Albert and Alvina (Reinhart) Hartmann. He attended grade school in St. George and was a 1946 graduate from the New Ulm Public High School. While attending school in New Ulm, Otto worked with Dr. Henry Schwermann at his Veterinarian Clinic in New Ulm. Otto was united in marriage to Mary Jane Wendinger on August 24, 1949, at the St. George Catholic Church. The couple bought a farm 5 miles south of Gibbon, and there he farmed the land, milked cows, raised hogs and chickens. Otto had a special horse named Barney. As he went about his farm yard chores you could always hear Dad singing. They raised eight children and continued to live on the farm until 1984 when they moved into their new home in Gibbon. He retired from farming full time in 1991, but continued to help the “boys” when needed for many years. Besides his work on the farm, Otto also worked at Green Giant, was a GFW school bus driver, and served as the janitor at St. Willibrord’s Catholic Church. Otto always loved polka music. He and Mary went to many polka dances. He liked to play sheepshead, Rummikub, bingo, and he especially liked to go fishing down by the river. When he could, he enjoyed a good cigar. Together with his wife Mary, Otto was able to travel the world seeing the sights of Germany, Australia, Israel, Hawaii, Mexico, and New Zealand. While travelling in New Zealand, he was dared to bungee jump off a bridge, and he did it! Otto was a great story teller and kept his grandchildren entertained with stories of years ago. In his later years, he contributed to different quilting groups by cutting fabric squares. He attended his children and grandchildren’s Baptisms, birthday parties, First Communions, Confirmations, baseball, basketball and football games, track meets, concerts, plays and recitals, graduations, weddings, and anniversaries. Otto was a faithful member of St. Willibrord’s Catholic Church in Gibbon where he sang with the church choir and sang with the St. Andrew’s Polka Singers. He was a member of the Gibbon Creamery Co-op board, Farm Bureau, and the Catholic Aid Association. Otto took tremendous pride in his faith, his farm, and his family. A close family was always important to him. Although Otto’s passing seems so sudden after Mary’s, there is comfort in knowing that he is now at peace, and all know that they are together again. Blessed be his memory. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Willibrord’s Catholic Church or to Food for the Poor in Guatemala.

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