Robert ‘Skip’ Ott
Robert ‘Skip’ Ott passed away Monday, September 9, 2019 at Ascension NE Wisconsin St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton, with his family by his side. He was born on December 10, 1938 in Milwaukee, to Edward A. Ott and Frances P. (Blackburn) Ott. The family moved to Merrill from Chicago in December of 1949. He attended St. Francis Xavier grade school and then Merrill Senior High School, graduating in 1956. He attended college at Central State Teachers College (now, UW-Stevens Point) where he was a member of the college basketball team. Skip enlisted in the Army and was in the 3rd Infantry Division stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany for 18 months. He made both the basketball and baseball teams which gave him the opportunity to travel throughout Germany. On October 15, 1960, he married Barbara R. Plautz. She survives. He worked in the leather and footwear industry for years. He spent 21 years at the Weinbrenner Shoe Company, the last six years as the purchasing department manager and leather buyer. He then went to work for the S.B. Foot Tanning Co. and Thiele Tanning Company as a leather salesman. He retired from Foot Tanning after 19 years as the Midwest sales manager, but continued to work for Thiele Tanning until the present. Skip was a member of the St. Robert/St. Francis Xavier parishes since 1949. He was a past member and president of the Parish Council as well as being in the first group of Eucharistic Ministers commissioned at St. Francis Xavier. In addition, he was involved in coaching for 27 years in the grade school. He particularly enjoyed coaching boy’s 5th and 6th grade basketball. With this age group, he tried to spend as much time with the least talented as he did with the more talented kids. He wanted them to feel like part of the team, plus they may develop into a better player as they got older. He also enjoyed the time he and his family spent at the cottage of Big Bearskin Lake. This time, plus the opening of fishing and deer hunting seasons with his family and friends gave him many fond memories. Family meant a lot to Skip. The closeness of his wife, children, spouses and grandchildren meant a lot to him. He loved to golf and the annual Ott Open family golf outing was always a highlight of his year.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Barbara Ott; children, Steve Ott of Merrill, Jeff (Kim) Ott of Janesville, Liz VanDerGeest (Jeff Robinson) of Merrill, Bob (Becky) Ott of Merrill and Bill (Sommer) Ott of Sparta. Grandchildren are: Michael (Sarah) VanDerGeest, Melissa (Joe) Weckwerth, Molly VanDerGeest, Kevin Watt, Jordan Ott, Lauren Ott, Abby Ott, Madison Ott, Mia Ott, Tyson Ott, Layden Ott, Reese Ott and Braylee Ott. Great grandchildren are Liam and Mila Weckwerth, and Essa VanDerGeest. Skip is also survived by a brother in law, Larry Plautz of Merrill. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Frances Ott; brother, Jim (Jo) Ott; and sister, Pat Storm.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Merrill. Father Chris Kemp will preside. Burial will take place in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Merrill, with graveside military rites conducted by V.F.W. Post 1638, Merrill. The visitation will be held on Monday, September 16, 2019 from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at the Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill.The Ott Family has suggested that memorials be directed to St. Francis Xavier Church or School. Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com