Duane “Ottie” Benard Otness, age 71, of Buffalo passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at the St. Cloud Hospital from the progressive illness of pulmonary fibrosis.
He was born on June 7, 1951, in Minneapolis, MN, the son of Donald and Gladys (Hamilton) Otness.
On August 28, 1982, Duane Otness and Rita Varner were united in marriage on the Varner family farm in rural Buffalo. Ottie would say he was blessed with two beautiful daughters and six beloved grandchildren.
Ottie worked hard as an Independent Sales Representative and Pharmacy Designer, taking pride in his work. He owned his company, All-Med Systems and Design, until his retirement in 2016. Ottie was a faithful member of the Buffalo United Methodist Church, a leader of the Methodist Men’s Fellowship and a committed confirmation Faith Partner. His faith was quiet and strong. It was the cornerstone of his life. It showed through every interaction at the front doors of his church where he served as a greeter for 25 years.
There was only one Ottie. To have met him once was to instantly love him. His smile brightened any room, and his laugh was unforgettable. Ottie was known to be genuine, supportive, servant-hearted, detailed, positive and as many would say, one-of-a-kind. He simply loved people. It didn’t matter who they were. He cared about them, he was interested in them, and he gave them his time and attention. Ottie did love to talk!
He was incredibly passionate about the sport of wrestling, having been a wrestler for Wayzata High School, where he graduated in 1969. He furthered that passion as the “voice” of Wright County Wrestling on KRWC radio for more than 25 years.
His training at Anoka Vo-tech in Small Engine Repair led him to an interest in cars and motors, and specifically a love of racecars. Whether it was Nascar or dirt track, or for the last seven years racing his own 1960 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite around a road course.
He didn’t mind getting his hands dirty. From working on projects in his shop, fixing his car, taking care of the farm he and Rita enjoyed living on, pulling fish off the line at the family cabin, or hunting in northern MN with his friends.
There was no doubt that aside from his faith and his passions in life, his number one love was that of his family. He faithfully supported the many endeavors of his wife, girls, and grandkids. He adored every moment he could with his family and never missed an opportunity to tell them how proud of them he was.
Survived by his loving wife of forty years Rita Varner-Otness; daughters Sheila (Andrew) Smude of Buffalo and Gretchen Otness of Willmar; grandchildren Connor, Emma, Nathan, Malachi, Nova and Maya Smude; grand-pup Gus; sister Barbara (Rick) Karkhoff of Ironton; brother Preston (Lynne) Otness of Brainerd; sister-in-law Jan Otness of Pine River; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Preceded in death by his parents and brother Darrell Otness.
Celebration of Life for Duane “Ottie” Otness will be held on Friday, October 14, 2022, at 2:00 PM at Buffalo United Methodist Church, Buffalo, MN.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 13, 2022, from 4-7 PM at Buffalo United Methodist Church. Further visitation will take place one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to the 877 Scholarship Foundation in the name of the Ottie Otness Wrestling Scholarship or Buffalo United Methodist Church
The Peterson Chapel, Buffalo assisted the family with arrangements. On-line condolences can be made at www.thepetersonchapel.com
The Celebration of Life will be streamed at: www.youtube.com search “BUMC Celebrations”