The Rev. Thomas Warren “Tom” Otto
The courageous, humble and honorable Rev. Thomas Warren “Tom” Otto, age 78, of Gainesville, FL, passed Jan. 26, 2020 peacefully in his home, surrounded by family.
He was born in Barberton, OH on Aug. 21, 1941 to Howard and Lillian Otto, who reared him on their rural farm between Marshallville and Canal Fulton, OH. He graduated from Northwest High School and played football for the University of Mount Union. He also earned master’s degrees from Loyola University of Chicago and United seminary of Dayton, OH. After a decade teaching high school English and Shakespeare, he received his calling into the ministry, and served as a United Methodist pastor for more than 25 years. He served in churches throughout Florida, in the Bahamas and in England’s Hinkley and Lytham St Annes circuits. Tom also ministered to those he met while touring Germany, Norway, Ireland, Iceland, Nova Scotia, Canada and Jamaica with his wife. A highlight was his personal visit with Mother Theresa at her Calcutta orphanage and Home of the Dying.
Tom’s family includes his wife of 54 years, Annie; his daughters Heidi Salmon (Christopher) of Melbourne Village, FL and Liesl O’Dell (Jimmy) of Gainesville, FL; his grandchildren, Olivia Douglas (Matt), Michael Kopy, Katie O’Dell, C.J. Salmon, Will O’Dell, Mark Salmon, Casey O’Dell and Heidi Rose Salmon; his siblings, cousins and other extended relatives and friends in Ohio, Florida , Alabama and Hawaii.
Tom’s oral history is available on YouTube under “An Oral History with Thomas W. Otto.” His earthly remains will be cremated by Milam Funeral Home in Gainesville, FL.
A celebration of life is planned for Saturday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m. at The Atrium, 2431 N.W. 41st Street, Gainesville, FL 32606.
In lieu of flowers, feel free to donate to The Atrium Garden Club Fund (address above), in memory of Tom Otto, who loved working in the garden. Arrangements are in the care of MILAM FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES 311 S. Main Street Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-5361 www.milamfh.com