Robert “Bob” Lee Otto, a retired Elk River High School teacher and sports announcer for the home team, has died at age of 83.
Otto taught in Elk River for 26 years, retiring in 1999. He was a proud Elk River resident and was an active supporter of community and athletic activities.
He was termed the “golden voice” with the microphone while he announced for the Elks for a total of 34 years, according to an Elk River High School official.
Otto died at his Elk River home of 52 years on July 20. Services will be at Central Lutheran Church, 1103 School St., Elk River on Monday, July 29. There will be a time of gathering for friends and family from 3-5 p.m. followed a celebration of Otto’s life at 5 p.m. with military honors, followed by dinner. In lieu of flowers, memorials will be given to some of Otto’s favorite charities.
Otto was born April 22, 1936 in St. Cloud, and he graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School in 1954. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and spent three years in the Marines with a tour of duty in Okinawa.
In 1961, he married Kelly Hoff of New York Mills and they became parents of four boys by 1967.
After a series of business-related jobs, Otto decided he would like to be a teacher. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1972, and after a brief stint in Edina schools, took a position at the Elk River High School teaching business.
He was brought to Elk River by Superintendent George Zabee to head a new work study program and Distributive Education (DECA). He went on to teach in Elk River for 26 years.
The four Otto sons, Joel, Kurt, Craig and Erik, were Elk River graduates in the 1980s with strong interest and success in the athletic world as well as academics.
In 1983, Otto was introduced to the world of announcing home games for boys’ basketball. He then began announcing girls’ basketball, football and softball games.
He continued to announce basketball games after his retirement from teaching through the winter of 2018. The last game that he announced was a boys’ basketball contest on Friday, March 2, 2018.