Bill Ottesen

Apr 21, 2021
Ottesen, William news


Following the visitation Sunday, April 25 at 6:00 PM with a Masonic service at 6:30.

The family requests masks be worn and maintain social distancing


Sunday, April 25 at Locke Funeral Home from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.

The family requests masks be worn and maintain social distancing.


Cremation to follow services with inurnment at a later date at Waterloo Memorial Park Cemetery


Waterloo Masonic Lodge #105 A.F. & A.M. or Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church


Bill Ottesen, 90, of Friendship Village in Waterloo, died Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at his home.

William Paul Ottesen was born August 6, 1930, in Sioux City, son of Nels Bjere and Gertrude Anne Berg Ottesen where he was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church. He graduated from Sioux City Central High School in 1948. Bill graduated from Iowa State University in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural engineering.


He served in the United States Army Engineers, 1952 to 1954 and then the Army Reserves, 1954 to 1960.  Bill married Norma Lee Woolery December 18, 1955, at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Kansas City, Missouri.

In 1952, Bill began his engineering career with Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff Architects in Kansas City; he then worked 6 years as office engineer for the City of Waterloo, 1960 to 1966, then as an engineer with Robinson Engineering retiring after 34 years as Vice President in 2000.

Bill was the designer of the suspension bridge at Thunder Woman Park in Janesville.  Bill and Ed actually "worked together" on Tama Hall at Hawkeye Community College. Bill designed the structure and Ed on  construction documents for his architectural firm who designed the building.

He was a member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, member of (50+ years) and Past Master of Waterloo Masonic Lodge #105 A.F. & A.M., member of Waterloo Masonic York Rite Bodies, Past Patron of Cedar Valley Chapter #128 Order of Eastern Star, life member of American Society of Civil Engineers, Past President of the Consulting Engineers Council of Iowa, and member of Iowa Engineering Society.

Over the years he collected stamps, American and then Danish. His father was a Danish immigrant and his mother the daughter of Danish immigrants. When his father arrived in American, he allowed his last name to be shortened and Americanized to Otto.  My dad was born William Paul Otto. Sometime after that my grandfather (dad's dad); tired of people mistaking his first name for last and vice versa (Nels Otto or was it Otto Nels), he had it legally changed back to Ottesen.

He also enjoyed bowling and he and Norma were on leagues for many years at Maple Lanes.

Bill is survived by his wife, Norma; daughter, Barbara (Gregory) Ehrig of Cedar Falls; son, Edward (Carolyn) of Waterloo; three grandchildren, Jason (Kate) Ehrig-Page, Ashley (Henry) Neumann, and Emily (fiancé Chad Durnil) Ottesen; three great grandchildren, Caiden Ottesen, Cailee Durnil, and Simon Neumann; and a sister, Marilyn (Steven) Denison of Rapid City‚ South Dakota.

He is preceded in death by his parents and grandson, Benjamin Ottesen.



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  1. Jane Ralston Parkhill | Apr 28, 2021
    I was so sorry to come across the news of Bill's passing. I have fond memories of the get-togethers we had so long ago. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family for comfort and peace.
  2. Lyle & Elaine Leeper | Apr 25, 2021
    Our toughts and prayers go to Norma and the rest of the Ottesen family. Bill was truly a valued member of Zion and will be greatly missed.

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