William Joseph "Bill" Otten

William Joseph "Bill" Otten


Retired Missouri Conservation Agent, Bill J. Otten, entered into rest at Manor Care Center in Kirksville, MO on Monday, August 7, 2017, having reached the age of 81.

He was the son of William and Lucille (Holdmeier) Otten of St. Clair, MO, born July 16, 1936 in St. Clair. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Dennis in infancy, Terry, and Larry Otten.

Bill is survived by two sisters, Marilyn Smith of Crestwood, MO, and Luann Ferguson of Owasso, OK; former wife and dear friend Joyce Otten of Kirksville, and her daughter Joan McKervy of Washington, D.C., sisters-in-law Sharon Otten, and Donna Hendrix, brothers-in-law, George Smith and Ray Ferguson, two nephews, six nieces, eight great nephews, eight great nieces, cousins, and many, many friends.

While residing in St. Clair, Missouri, Bill served ten years with the Missouri National Guard. He retired from the MO Department of Conservation in September of 1995, having served with the department for 40 years. He started his career as a clerk dispatcher with Merrimac Forestry District in Sullivan, MO in 1955, then transferred to Salem, MO and was promoted to chief clerk of the Central Repair Shop for the Operations Division. Bill then relocated to Perryville where he worked as a forestry assistant.

In 1967 Bill entered the Conservation Agent Training class, and was assigned to Sullivan County upon graduation. In 1968, he transferred to Adair County where he served as the conservation agent for 20 years. In 1988 he was promoted to assistant regional supervisor and in 1993 was elevated to the position of regional supervisor of the North Central Region of the state. In the position he supervised 19 division employees in 15 counties from the main office in Kirksville.

Bill had also served as the president of the Missouri Conservation Agents Association (MCAA) in 1986 and also as the legislative chairman. In 1996 he received the Pioneer Award from the MACC for his involvement in creating the association and its by-laws, and for his work involving the House State Retirement Committee. The North Central Region "Agent of the Year" was awarded to him in 1970, 1971, and 1976.

During his retirement years, Bill was actively involved in local politics serving as treasurer of the Democratic Central Committee for 13 years, caring for his land, helping and serving friends and neighbors. He also traveled extensively, both before and after retiring.

It was Bill's wish to be cremated and A Celebration of his life will be held at Travis-Noe Funeral Home, 1008 W. Potter Ave., in Kirksville, on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Family will receive friends for one hour before the service in the chapel of Travis-Noe Funeral Home.

Memorial donations may be made to the Kirksville Historical Society, of which Bill was a member, or to the Adair County Humane Society. Memorials may be left at or mailed to Travis-Noe Funeral Home, P.O. Box 306, Kirksville, MO 63501.

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