Ardis Mae Otterson

May 26, 1933 ~ November 12, 2019 (age 86)


Ardis Otterson, 86, of Caledonia, MN, died peacefully on November 12, 2019, at Golden Horizons in Crosslake, MN.

Ardis Mae Otterson was born on May 26, 1933, in Red Wing MN, to Clarence and Ione Trulen.  She grew up in Red Wing, graduated from Red Wing High School, and received a scholarship to Rockford College in Rockford, IL.  She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with a degree in history.  While in high school and college, Ardis worked at the Red Wing Shoe Company.

She married her high school sweetheart, John Otterson, in 1955.  John was a Korean War Veteran.  They went on to have three children, David, Susan Marie, who died as an infant, and Daniel.  Ardis worked part time when the boys were young, both as a teacher and a tax professional.  The family moved to Caledonia in 1966 for John’s job.  He was President of Caledonia State Bank.  Ardis was the office manager of McLoone Metal Graphics in La Crosse, WI for 27 years, before retiring at the age of 62.

Ardis had the travel bug, and along with dear friends, went on numerous biking and cultural trips throughout Europe and across the United States.  She loved watching football and golf and her many passions included reading, quilting, needlework, golf, bridge, bowling, yard work, and cleaning - CONSTANTLY…!  Her sons and grandchildren have memories of awakening much too early, to the sound of the vacuum cleaner or pots and pans clanging ferociously in the kitchen… 

Immanuel Lutheran Church was a huge part of Ardis’s life.  She spent hours at the church each week, involved in bell choir, Altar Guild, WELCA, Circle, 3D, church choir, Sunday School, Bible study, kitchen committee etc.   The church was her family, and she didn’t take any of her volunteer tasks lightly.  This “family” was especially important after the loss of her dear husband, John, in 1976.

Ardis was blessed to have 8 grandchildren:  Nicholas (Katie), Aaron (Marit), Jacob (Vianni), Nathan, Steven, Tatum (Bobby), Patrick, John (Rebecca) and 7 great grandchildren: Laken, Jett, Dawson, Ella, Kinsley, John and Luke.  She enjoyed attending the grandchildren’s activities: sports, musical events, graduations, confirmations, weddings, or birthday celebrations.  We will never forget her wonderful laughter at these events!  The last years of Ardis’s life were spent in Maple Grove and Crosslake, close to Dan and his wife, Jill.  She had a few new adventures, and enjoyed pontooning on the Whitefish Chain of Lakes, pulling up to the DQ drive-up window in a four wheeler, sitting on the deck watching the loons and eagles, and having summer get-togethers with her grandchildren and great grandchildren (and granddogs; Busa, Bella, Paris and Frank)!   She will be missed immensely…

Ardis will be interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Red Wing, MN, where she will finally be reunited with her husband, John.  A celebration of Ardis’s life, will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Caledonia, MN on January 12th, 2020.  The service will be at 11:00am, following the regular morning church service.  A lunch will be served after the service.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Golden Horizons Assisted Living in Crosslake, MN., for their passionate and loving care.  They truly cared about Ardis, and it showed.  Thank you, also, to St Croix Hospice for their compassionate assistance.  A memorial of your choice, is preferred.

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