July 21, 1926-Feb. 21, 2018
Otto William Staack Jr. was born July 21, 1926, and died Feb. 21, 2018, surrounded by his beloved family.
Otto was the youngest of five children, born in Herrick, South Dakota, in the grainery on the family farm. He lost his father before he was born, and his mother as a young boy. He was raised on the farm, and always spoke about the events of his childhood with great enthusiasm.
Otto was a true patriot, and he deeply loved his country. He joined the United States Navy on his 17th birthday, after being inspired to serve by the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. He then served in the South Pacific, based in Pearl Harbor as an aviation ordinance petty officer 1st class turret technician, serving for four years. He said "I only gave two oaths in my life, one to my wife and one to my country, and would do it again"
Otto then came to Butte, Montana in 1949 while working for the Great Northern Railroad, surveying the hill to move the railroad because they were going to dig the Berkeley Pit. His first night in town he went to a supper dance club and met Marion Josephine Lisac, his soul mate. They went fishing the next day at Georgetown Lake, the first of many fishing adventures. Otto had many opportunities for careers after the military that he passed up in hopes of having a home, he felt he never had a home before.
So, he stayed in Butte instead of moving on down the line, married his sweetheart Marion, and made his home.
Otto and Marion have three children, all were born and raised in Butte. He built his young family's first house on Phillips Street, and later dug the basement out by hand.
Otto was a mechanic at Murray Motors and Roberts Rocky Mountain Equipment. He went on to own and operate P&B Auto Repair on Montana Street, Front and Utah Conoco, Staack's Radiator Repair, and Staack's Auto Electric. He always loved working on cars and building things, a passion that he has passed onto his children and grandchildren.
Otto was a Boy Scout troop leader for many years. He loved spending time teaching and helping the boys. After retiring, Otto and Marion continued their love of the outdoors, enjoying fishing, being snowbirds and spending time with family. They moved to Coeur d’Alene, ID in 2013.
Throughout his life he always had a dog from the time he was a little boy. He spent many hours a day telling wonderful stories of his childhood and military service. Otto was gentle, kind, honorable, adored for his honesty and integrity by friends and family alike. Otto loved children, and children loved him. His lap was a favorite place for his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was always so proud of them, they were the pride of his life.
In 2016 the whole family celebrated Otto's 90th birthday, on the river in Coeur d'Alene.
Otto is survived by his wife, Marion of Coeur d’Alene, ID; three children, Ed (JoAnn) Staack of Butte, Geri (Steve) Herling of Post Falls, ID, and Dianna (Kent) Stolz of Arvada, CO; and grandchildren, Brian Staack, Sara Sandoval, Stacey Tracy, Wendy DeBlaquiere, Bradley Stolz and Bradie Paul. Also survived by eight great-grandchildren, Joseph, Sophia, Isabella, Andrew, Nicholas, Tenley, Corey and by brother-in-law, Edward (Virginia) Lisac, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded by parents, Otto William Staack and Marie Frances Soulek; brother, Larry; and sisters, Gladys, Loretta and Irma
A Celebration of Otto’s life will be held in Butte on his birthday, July 21, 2018.