Leo Ray “Ray” Otten was fortunate to live a full, adventurous and rewarding life but sadly, he was called home on July 15, 2017 at the age of 92.
He was born in Mayfield, Utah to Alda LaVell and August Garrett Otten in 1925. Preceding him in death are his parents and his sister, Jean Otten. He leaves behind the love of his life and wife of 70 years, Sarah Belva Otten, his children, Belva Rae Malan of Hurricane, Utah, Faye Otten Williamson and Jay Williamson of Bellevue, Washington, Ann Otten Kageyama and Gary Kageyama of Reedley, California, Lee Otten of Clovis, California and Jeanne Otten Chapman of Oakhurst, California. Ray also leaves behind 14 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
Ray was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as bishop of the Sterling Utah Ward from 1958-1960. Ray was an Army veteran of World War II, serving his country while stationed in Okinawa, Japan. In his early family years, Ray was the postmaster and proprietor of Sterling Grocery / Mercantile in Sterling, Utah.
He then moved his family to Washington, then California where he became a Petroleum Distributor, first in Crescent City, California, then Merced, Parlier and Hanford, California. Ray worked hard to build a successful business. His priority was always providing for his family.
Ray loved flying. He was a licensed pilot for many years and would take to the skies every opportunity he could. He had an adventurous spirit and loved to travel. His wife and children have spent many vacations in various parts of North America, including Canada for a month because of his desire to see what was over the next mountain. Ray spent vacations with his wife, Belva in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.
Music and dancing were always a part of his life. He would teach his children to dance as they stood on his feet and he whirled them around the room. His love of big game hunting has been passed down through stories he has shared of many family hunting trips he has been on in Utah. Ray valued education and encouraged his children to ask questions. Ray shared his love of the water with his children and he taught many of them to waterski at an early age.
He will be missed but his family takes comfort in knowing that he is at peace and no doubt, in the arms of his family who passed before him. Graveside services will be held at the Sterling Cemetery in Sterling, Utah on August 26 at 10 a.m. A celebration of life will follow at the LDS Cultural Hall in Sterling.