Frederick F. Otto, 87

DEC. 4, 1924-DEC. 10, 2011

December 10, 2011
  • Otto

Frederick Franklin Otto, 87, of Hagerstown, Md., passed away Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown.

Fred was born Dec. 4, 1924, in Big Pool, Md. He was the son of the late Joseph Ronald Otto and Viola Ruth Otto. He was the great-great-great-grandson of John (Johann) David Otto who immigrated from Hanover, Germany Sept. 17, 1793, landing in Philadelphia aboard the ship Columbia.

In 1825, Fred's great-great-grandfather married Dorcus Miller and moved to a small farm near Burnside Bridge. This farm served as a field hospital during the Battle of Antietam and bricks for the historical Dunkard Church, which withstood the battle, were made on the Otto farm.

Fred's childhood was spent in Sharpsburg, Md. He graduated from Boonsboro High School in 1942, delivering the graduation speech. Upon high school graduation Fred enrolled at Shepherd College. The following year he enrolled in the U.S. Navy Reserve V-12 unit at Bethany College. The V-12 unit was formed during World War II to satisfy the Navy's urgent need for adequately trained officers in addition to those trained at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. His mid-shipman's training was continued at the Midshipmen School at Columbia University, Line Officers Training School, Hollywood, Fla., and Communication School, Harvard University. During World War II, Fred saw sea duty in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres as communications officer and Navigation Division Officer.

Upon his separation from the military in 1946, Fred worked in the Material Control Department at Fairchild and the Veterans Administration for a short time before returning to Shepherd College to complete his Bachelor of Arts Degree. He continued his education, obtaining a master's and doctorate from George Washington University in 1973.

Fred taught mathematics and physical science for 11 years moving on to the Hagerstown Community College where he served as Registrar, Director of Admissions and Dean of Continuing Education for 29 years.

Following his retirement from the Hagerstown Community College, Fred served as Executive Director for the Washington County Commission on Aging. After a rewarding 15 years, he retired in 2004.

Other professional and civic activities include past chairmanship of Continuing Education Manual Revision Committee-State Board for Community Colleges, past president of Regional Educational Service Agency, treasurer Council on Community Services and Continuing Education, past president of the Exchange Club of Hagerstown (1973-74), founder and first president of the Washington County Community Action Council, member of the Association of Practitioners of Educational Administrations (George Washington University), chairman of Washington County Government Study Commission, past president of the Washington County Teacher's Association, chairman Institute on Maryland Public Affairs, development of short courses, offered to industrial and retail management personnel, member Executive Committee of the Red Cross, and past president and treasurer of the Community Rescue Service Board.

Publications, in addition to his doctoral dissertation, include Community Development Corporation-a Prospective of Action and Responsibility, Opportunity, Challenge-a final report of the Washington County Government Commission.

Personal interests and special skills included Potomac Playmakers, public speaking, sailing, golfing and gardening.

Finally, Fred was a member of Fountainhead Country Club, the Brethren Church of Sharpsburg, Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown, Covenant Presbyterian Church and St. John's Episcopal Church Stewardship Commission.

Fred is survived by his wife of 64 years, Janet; son, Steven; daughter, Janine; grandchildren, Kirk and Keeley Nichols; and sister, Evelyn Regina Powell.

Memorial services will be held Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, at 11 a.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, 101 S. Prospect St., Hagerstown, with the Rev. Ann Boyd officiating.

Interment will be private.

Family will receive friends Monday, Dec. 12, 2011, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown.

Memorial donations may be made to the Hagerstown Community College Foundation Inc., c/o Hagerstown Community College, 11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21742.

Online condolences may be expressed at

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