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Funeral services for Sandra Otto of Badger, MN will be held on Saturday, June 30th at 11 AM at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau. Visitation will be on Friday evening from 5-7 PM with a 7:00 prayer service at Helgeson Funeral Home. Interment will be at the Badger City Cemetery.
Sandra Lee (Hinshaw) Otto was born on January 18, 1941 in Minneapolis, MN to Stacy and Caroline (Keller) Hinshaw. Prior to her senior year in high school, a friend brought Sandy to a summer conference at Bethany Fellowship where she met her future husband, Richard Otto, in 1958. While a senior in high school, Sandy was involved in the Youth for Christ Program and competed on the Bible quiz team. Her team won the national competition in Chicago, and they were awarded a trip to Europe. She graduated from St. Louis Park High School in 1959 and began attending Bible college at Bethany Fellowship in Minneapolis. She and Richard dated at Bible College and got engaged in 1960 and were planning to go to the mission field in Africa through WEC (Worldwide Evangelization Crusade). However, God had different plans for them. Richard and Sandy went to WEC Headquarters in Pennsylvania where Richard was asked to stay and teach linguistics while Sandy went to Portugal for 9 months to learn the Portuguese language. She and Richard were planning to be missionaries in Portuguese Guinea, West Africa. After returning from Portugal, Sandy and Richard began planning their wedding and were married August 30, 1964, at the Evangelical Free Church in St. Louis Park, MN.
The plans to go to the mission field didn’t work out, and Richard and Sandy lived in Minneapolis where Sandy worked as a medical records clerk at St. Louis Park Medical Center. Their first son, Stacy, was born in December 1968 and second son, Todd, was born in February 1971 at the St. Louis Park Hospital. In September of 1971, Richard and Sandy moved to his family farm near Badger, MN. Sandy worked in the sewing department for Northern Upholstery near Roseau, and taught several local women the art of sewing in her home. She also assisted her mother-in-law, Dorothy Otto, as a columnist with local news for the Badger Enterprise newspaper. Their youngest son, Bert, was born in January 1975 in Thief River Falls, MN. Richard and Sandy bought and moved into their current home in Badger in 1979. Sandy bussed kindergarten children for a short time for the Badger School system and later worked as a waitress at the local drive-in. In 1985, Sandy began working as the coordinator for Senior Medical Travel at the Four Seasons Senior Center in Roseau. After hiring an assistant for the medical travel program, Sandy became the Director of the Senior Center and later started the Roseau County Area Transit (RCAT) in 1990. RCAT eventually expanded and became FAR North Public Transit. Sandy retired in 2004 and was the recipient of the Distinguished Career Award from the Minnesota Public Transit Association. She continued to volunteer at the Senior Center on the board of directors, the transit office, and was the Chairman for the Roseau County Committee on Aging. Sandy enjoyed coordinating lefse making efforts at the Senior Center. Sandy also assisted Richard as his secretary at every class for 21 years as he taught the 55-Alive Safe-Driving course.
Sandy was a very caring and passionate person and loved to tell people about Jesus. Sandy loved family gatherings and visiting. She was very involved at the various churches she attended throughout her life. Sandy taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School at the International Christian Fellowship Evangelical Free Church in Piney, Manitoba. She enjoyed sewing and making quilts and she loved to sing with Richard, play clarinet, accordion, and her omni-chord. She later inherited her sister’s organ and enjoyed playing that at home and eventually played organ for church services at the Badger Baptist Church. Sandy loved flowers, watering her house plants, and watching Richard work in the garden or on various projects. She also loved playing Skip-Bo and dominos with Richard nearly every night.
Sandy died and went to be with her Savior on Friday, June 22 at the hospital in Warren, MN after 77 years, 5 months, and 5 days.
Sandy is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, Richard Otto; three sons, Stacy (Kathleen) & grandson Sean Otto of Roseau, MN; Todd (Eunice) & grandchildren Todd II, Jordan, and Tiffany Otto of Florida; Bert (Rachel) & grandchildren Jacob and Kayla Otto of Rochester, MN; nephew Scott (Sherry) Kimball of Chaska, MN; and niece Shari (David) (Kimball, Leistico) Streit of Clarissa, MN.
She is preceded in death by her parents; and her sister Marlene (Hinshaw, Kimball) Thern.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are appreciated.
A special thank you to the emergency room staff at the Altru Hospital of Roseau, the crew of the LifeFlight helicopter and the staff at the North Valley Health Center in Warren, MN for all of their efforts and to Helgeson Funeral Homes. The family would also like to thank all of the friends, neighbors, and family for their outpouring of support.
Sandy’s greatest wish in life would be for everyone to know Jesus as their personal savior.