Emily Katherine "Kitty" Ott

Mar 6, 2020
Ott, Kitty Newspaper


Visitation and Memorial Service for Kitty will be at a later date. 




In lieu of flowers: May be directed to First Presbyterian Church or the American Cancer Society, 4080 First Ave NE Ste #101, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402


     Emily Katherine "Kitty" Ott, 94, of Waterloo, died Thursday, March 5, 2020 at her daughter’s home in Cle Elum, Washington.

     She was born June 21, 1925, in Auburn, Alabama, daughter of Samuel H. and Laura G. Johnson Gibbons. Kitty graduated from Sydney Lanier High School in 1943 and attended Huntington College, both in Montgomery.

     Kitty married Orlan W. Ott on April 21, 1946 in Montgomery, Alabama. Orlan died January 14, 2017.

     Kitty was a secretary in the Waterloo school system for 24 years, working at Lafayette Elementary, McKinstry Junior High, and East High School.  She retired in 1987.  She was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Waterloo where she served as deacon, usher, and as a member of the Presbyterian Women. She volunteered for several organizations including Allen Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, the Waterloo Public Library and the gift shop at the Waterloo Center for the Arts.

     Kitty is survived by her daughter, Emily (Charles Johnson) Millar of Cle Elum‚ Washington; two sons, Orlan “William” (Catherine) Ott of San Diego‚ California, and Michael (Robbi) Ott of Charlotte‚ North Carolina; seven grandchildren: Liz Johnson, Sean Johnson, Sean (April) Millar, Zachary Johnson, David (Cheryl) Garvin, twins, Haelli (Jared) Wiesehan and Madison (Matthew) McDonald; and two great grand-children, Zachary Garvin and Brenden (Emily) Garvin.

     She is preceded in death by her husband Orlan, and six siblings: Elizabeth Hanson, Sam Gibbons, Laura Schwartz, Margaret Byrne, Marie Moon, and Billy Gibbons.

     Kitty was a long time Highland resident, most recently residing at Friendship Village.  She touched the lives of many students during her years in the school system.  She could most often be found knitting or watching her beloved Cubbies and Iowa Hawkeyes.  She and Orlan loved road trips, especially when visiting family.

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  1. Marvin Spencer | Jun 20, 2020

    Wow! Just a wonderful lady that still comes up during my East High conversations. Definately helped make my EHS experience better.

  2. Joan Easton | Apr 05, 2020


    I am so sorry to see Kitty had passed away.  I loved our short conversations.  She brightened my day!  I really appreciated her childrens' care & support of her!  I am at least glad she was with you when she passed away.  May God hold you all in the palm of his hand and carry you all through this time of grief!

    Take Care & God Bless!

  3. Joan Christensen-Sund | Mar 19, 2020
    Deepest sympathy to Emily, William, and Michael and families.  The legacy she left in our hearts is beyond description.  She always had a smile and an ear  for listening for anyone who crossed her path.  Many people in the community remember her (and her sense of humor) fondly.  I still miss her quick wit and compassion for people.  May she rest in peace knowing that she touched so many lives.
  4. Bobby & Susan Garris | Mar 19, 2020

    From Bobby and Susan Garris to the Ott family,

    Miz Ott was like a second mom to me growing up in the Highland neighborhood in the late 60s and early 70s.  I may have spent as much time at the Ott's home as I did my own through our days at Frances Grout Elementary, McKinstry Junior High, and East High.  Mike remains my best friend of over 50 years.  When in the Ott home you could always count on Kitty's fresh homemade bread and sweet tea, Orlan's powerful handshake, and Kitty's infectious laugh!  We watched many Cubs games with Orlan at 106 Alta Vista Avenue. 

    I remember our days at McKinstry when Miz Ott was the cashier in the lunch line.  She then worked in the attendance office at East High while we were there which did not please Michael and I as we may have skipped a class or three.  We never knew how she knew, but she always found out where we were.

    Our deepest condolences to Bill, Emily, Michael and their families as we celebrate the wonderful life of this special person.

  5. Mary Dutton | Mar 18, 2020

    From the Dutton Family to the Ott Family,

    We send you our condolences & sympathy.  Our years living in Highland were made better because Kitty & Orlan were our neighbors.  Elaine's, Tom's & Alice's years at McKinstry & East High were made better because Miz Ott was there for all the kids.  She always said, "Of course we can do that." & never "Oh my, we can't possibly do that." when we would call with our unusual requests!  We loved her & know you miss her.

    Dave & Mary, Elaine, Tom & Alice 


  6. Larry Cardamon | Mar 16, 2020
    It was always a joy to visit with 'Miss Kitty' in the office at East High.  She was a special kind of person, seemingly always "UP" and very outgoing.  She was missed when she retired.
  7. Pam Grimstad | Mar 15, 2020

    I knew Miss Kitty from Friendship Village. A lovely woman in all ways. Sassy sense of humor, quick witted and I enjoyed many conversations with  her. I especially enjoyed her telling of the first time she laid eyes on Orlan!

    See you later, darlin'. I love you.

  8. Dolene(Brackin)Reichenbacker | Mar 15, 2020

    Miss Kitty was such a joy, she was at Mckinstry Jr High when I went there, loved that smile and always had something sweet to say to each of us.  So sorry to the whole family, I attended school with Bill.


  9. Cathy Bartels Lentfer | Mar 15, 2020
    Kitty worked with my mom both at McKinstry and East High. She and my mom were BFF's before the phrase became popular. She had a heart of gold, and a smile that would brighten your day. I am for certain that there is a whole lot of catching up to do between those two! Rest in Peace, Miss Kitty, and thanks for the memories.
  10. Julie Sjobakken 1985 | Mar 15, 2020
    Sending much love and sympathy to the family of Miss Kitty. She will forever hold a special place in my heart and many others. The picture you shared is of a smile I still can remember and the thought of her laughter comes to mind. Miss Kitty was never without a sense of humor, never denied a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to listen. A lady beautiful, both inside and out. She will always be remembered for her kind soul. May she rest well...
  11. Patrice Brock | Mar 11, 2020

    Dear family of Miss Kitty... Thank you for sharing her and her hubby Mr. A ✨ they are now rejoined in their next phase of life.

    I will miss terribly, Kitty's presence of making a person laugh; share with a twinkle in her eye, a joke, volunteer when and where she could.

    1st Presbyterian Church and its' members, along with others were Blessed to know your parents 🛐✨💞

  12. David Rainey | Mar 11, 2020

    A wonderful lady inside and out!

    Thoughts and prayers to the family.

  13. Sherry Frost | Mar 10, 2020

    Kitty always made my day when we got to speak.  Our conversations always had a lot of laughter, something that is good for all of us.  May Kitty be in peace, laughing it up in heaven.


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