E. LANSING, Mich. - Howard never thought he could love anything more than science - but while studying chemistry in 1954, he met Joan. They were married six months later.
Howard received a B.S. from UCLA in 1954. Upon graduation, Howard served in the Air Force as an officer. He later received his M.D., Cum Laude from USC. After completing his residency in pathology, Howard drove his wife, children and several family pets from Southern California to the UP.
As a board-certified pathologist, Howard served for 35 years in Houghton from 1967 to 1984 and Cheboygan from 1984 to 2002.
Howard left an inspiring legacy in Upper Michigan. He opened his home, heart and table at the local Big Boy to many students and families in the community. A wry joke and wide smile from Howard quickly put any one visitor at ease.
The Otto home was a wonderful place to learn from Howard about the sciences and the great mysteries of the time. While quiet about his generosity, he was outspoken in his views. Visitors were thrilled to listen to Howard's thoughts on movies, politics and the JFK conspiracy.
Howard was a teacher his entire life. He taught his children, grandchildren and anyone else who was willing to learn bridge and cribbage. In 2007, Howard and his daughter, Ruth took second place in the Mackinaw Bridge Tournament.
While being lovingly cared for at Holt Senior Care and Rehabilitation Center, he tutored attendants as they prepared for their a-biochemistry exam.
With his wife - his angel in disguise - daughter and grandchildren by his side, Howard died from complications of frontal lobe dementia on Dec. 23, 2012.
He was predeceased by his parents, Louise and John Otto; his daughter, Ruth (Christopher) Abood who passed away Dec. 23, 2009.
He is survived by his wife, Joan; four children, John (Nancy) Otto, Charles (Anita) Otto, Dorianne (Jeffrey) Jentzen and Dennis (Diane) Kitchen; 13 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren who called him "Bumpa".
Visitation services will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. with a service to follow on Friday, Dec. 28 at Gorsline-Runciman Funeral Homes, East Chapel, 1730 E. Grand River Ave., E. Lansing, MI
Donations may be made to Holt Senior Care Activity Center, 5091 Willoughby Road, Holt, Mich. 48842.
The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing, Mich. Online condolences may be made at greastlansing.com.