Our beloved Leader for Life of NAIFA-Lower Columbia Major Robert M. Otteraaen USMC Ret., 86, of Kelso passed away Nov. 15, 2014, at home. Many of you experienced Bob’s dry wit, undoubtedly a left over from his career as a U.S. Marine. As a Marine, Bob served in three wars….WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Not too many Generals get to say that!
He was born April 25, 1928, in Seattle, to Dr. Andrew O. and Anna (Nelson) Otteraaen. Robert graduated from Wenatchee High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture and a Master of Education in counseling from Washington State University.
On June 13, 1953, he married Marion J. Copeland in Seattle. They moved to Kelso from Camp Lejune Marine Corps Base in 1974. During his military career, Robert served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He went on to teach high school and run a small business in Kelso for financial tax strategies.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Marion Nov. 6, 2010.
He is survived by four children, Cynthia Elliott of Bellevue, Andrew Otteraaen of Vancouver, Nancy Buck of Fallon, Nev., and Douglas Otteraaen of Salida, Calif.; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Robert was heavily involved in the community, most notably as president of the Lower Columbia Branch 363 Fleet Reserve Association, president of Lower Columbia Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) and as a member of the Kelso Rotary where he became a Paul Harris Fellow.
A celebration of Robert’s life is planned for 11 a.m. Dec. 12 at Steele Chapel. The Rev. John A. Steppert will officiate. Burial with military honors will follow at 1 p.m. at Longview Memorial Park.
Contributions in Robert’s name may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or Toys for Tots.