Joseph E. (Joe) Otte, 71, of Denton, Montana, died Saturday, September 23, 2023 in Peace Hospice in Great Falls from injuries sustained in a workplace accident on September 7th. Joe was born August 26, 1952, in Coldwater, Ohio, the son of William J. and Valeria (Giere) Otte. He received his schooling in Coldwater, graduating from high school in 1970. He then attended college at Miami Jacobs in Dayton, Ohio, graduating with an Associate Degree in Accounting and then worked in the accounting field for about 5 years.
In March 1977, Joe traveled to Denton, Montana, to visit his sister and brother-in-law (Jim and Carole Goettemoeller) and attend his niece's baptism. He fell in love with the slower pace and beauty of Central Montana and moved to Denton that summer to work on the Lazy JG Ranch for his family. In the spring of 1980, he was invited to work for Denton Farmers Co-op. After 19 years there, he worked for a short time at Glass Trucking and then in 2000 he started work at Barber Seed Company, which later became Clearview Seed, where he was employed at the time of his death. In the last years, Joe was often asked if he was ready to retire and he always stated that he loved where he worked and wouldn't know what to do with himself if he wasn't working.
Joe loved the outdoors. As a life-long bachelor, he found his love in hunting, fishing, trap shooting, and helping on the family ranch. Not only did he spend endless hours walking the land and fishing the streams, he enjoyed cooking up his bounty, as well. Jim and Carole always knew that if they ever needed help, Joe was the first person they could call. He willingly gave his time and energy where needed, and took great joy in picking on his nieces and nephews, too. Joe was present at all of the family functions and holidays at the Goettemoellers and he leaves an empty spot at their table, but not just for meals. He had a competitive side to him, especially when the cards came out at holidays. Joe rarely passed up an opportunity to play 'Screw Your Neighbor' or 'Up and Down the River'.
Helping out and getting involved didn't stop with his family. Joe started his community service by being a scout leader and then became a long time member of the Denton Rod & Gun Club, where he also taught Hunter's Safety. Although Joe never had children of his own, he enjoyed interacting and working with young people. He also donated countless hours to the Denton Lions Club and was an EMT for the Denton Ambulance for decades. He even wore the hat of Mayor of Denton for 10 years, as well as being a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Denton. Joe gave freely of his time and talent for the betterment of the little community of Denton, where he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Joe is survived by his siblings Lois (Mark) Eilerman of Arcanum, OH, Carole (Jim) Goettemoeller of Denton, MT, Bill (Linda) Otte of Watersound, FL, Marilyn (Jim) Mahoney of Goffstown, NH, Rick (Melissa) Otte of Woodinville, WA, Mark (Jill) Otte and Greg Otte of Coldwater, OH. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Larry Knapke of Coldwater, OH, 11 nieces, 9 nephews and many great- and great great- nieces and nephews.
Joe was preceded in death by his mother and father, his sister Lorraine Knapke, and 3 nephews - Kris Eilerman, Chuck Goettemoeller and Monte Goettemoeller.
Vigil service for Joseph E. Otte will be held on Sunday, October 1, 2023, at 5:00 pm at Cloyd Funeral Home in Lewistown, MT. Funeral Mass will be on Monday, October 2, 2023, at 10:00 am at St. Leo's Catholic Church in Lewistown, MT, with cremation to follow the services. Committal will be Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at 1:00 pm in the Goettemoeller Family Cemetery at the Lazy JG Ranch in Denton, MT. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Friends are asked to make memorials to the Denton Foundation Fund or the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.