Funeral services were held on March 17, 2009, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Aurelia, with Pastor Larry Lemke officiating, and burial took place in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, rural Aurelia. Redig Funeral Home in Aurelia was in charge of funeral arrangements.
Elsie Caroline Radke was born Dec. 8, 1915, the daughter of Albert H. and Katherine (Fick) Radke, in Galva. Elsie graduated from the Galva High School in 1934, and on March 25, 1936 married Wilbert Henry Otto at St. John Lutheran Church in Galva.
Wilbert and Elsie farmed in the Hanover and Holstein areas before moving to Aurelia in 1946. They retired into town in 1973. Elsie was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Aurelia, where she was a member of Ladies Aid and taught Sunday school for many years. She was always ready to volunteer at church and for other groups in Aurelia. She also belonged to the Aurelia Friendly Seniors, and enjoyed gardening, raising flowers, knitting, quilting, playing cards, and traveling. She especially enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Preceding Elsie in death were her parents; her husband Wilbert on May 10, 1992; one daughter, Myra, in 1942; one son, Duane, in 1974; one grandson, David Steffens in 1972; one daughter-in-law, Carolyn Hegland in 2009; one sister, Irene Radke in 1920; and one brother, Virgil Radke in 1963.
Survivors include two daughters, Phyllis and her husband, John Baumann, of Aurelia; Eileen and her husband, Ron Steffens, of Cumming, Ga.; three sons, Rev. Rodney and his wife, Phyllis Otto, of Grandville, Mich.; Gary and his wife, Alura Otto, of Aurelia; and Joel and his wife, Cheryl Otto, of Sioux City. Also surviving are 20 grandchildren - DeAnn Malfero, Jeff Otto, JoDee Otto, Michael Otto, Cynthia and her husband Jeff Kai, Kelley and her husband Dan Roberts, Alan Baumann, Christopher and his wife Melissa Otto, Stephen and his wife Jennifer Otto, Andrew and his wife Pamela Otto, Jayson and his wife Kelly Otto, Aaron and his wife Jennifer Steffens, Matthew Steffens, Rebecca and her husband Ryan Hodges, Sarah and her husband Wayne Walter, Erika Otto, Priscilla Otto, Travis Otto, Nicholas Peck, and Tyler Peck; 30 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; four brothers and their wives, Kenneth and Mary Radke of Galva, Wendell Radke of Oldsmar, Fla., Dean and Margaret Radke of Galva, and Lee and Beverly Radke of Holstein; one sister-in-law, Elmeree Radke of Holstein; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.