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Father John Otterbacher

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Mass of Christian Burial for Glenmary Father John Otterbacher was celebrated Dec. 2 at St. Matthias Church in Forest Park. Father Otterbacher, 81, died Nov. 23 at the Glenmary residence in Cincinnati. He was a Glenmary Home Missioner for 57 years.

Father John Otterbacher (Courtesy photo)

A native of Sand Lake, Mich., Father Otterbacher completed his studies for the priesthood at St. Gregory and Mount St. Mary seminaries and Glenmary Seminary. He was ordained in May 1956. Five months later, Father Otterbacher was assigned as associate pastor of Glenmary’s mission in West Union. He also served as an associate pastor in Norton, Va., before embarking on his first pastorate in Appalachia, Va., in 1961. He went on to lead Glenmary missions in Pulaski, Tenn., and Spencer, W.Va., prior to his two-year assignment as the society’s religious education department head. He moved on to pastor the mission church in Jefferson, N.C., for five years until his health required him to take disability status.

Father Otterbacher received Glenmary senior status in 1993 and, in later life, became a skilled woodcarver creating intricately designed walking sticks and canes that he gave away as gifts. He also planted and tended a large vegetable garden up until 2008, and shared his harvest with others. Father Otterbacher had been living in Treadway, Tenn., until this past October when he returned to Cincinnati.

Interment was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

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