July 15, 1920 - October 29, 2015


Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the life of Joan C. Otto, age 95, of Sauk Centre, will be at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Melrose. Father Marv Enneking will officiate and burial will take place in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in New Munich. Joan passed away Thursday surrounded by loved ones at the CentraCare Health in Sauk Centre. There will be a visitation from 4:00-8:00 PM on Monday, November 2, 2015 at the Miller-Carlin Funeral Home in Albany and again after 10:00 AM until the time of service Tuesday morning at the church in Melrose. Parish prayers will be at 7:00 PM Monday evening at the funeral home. Arrangements are being made with Miller-Carlin Funeral Home of Albany.

Joan was born on July 15, 1920 to Leo and Catherine (Thull) Sand in New Munich, and had 12 siblings. At age 27, she married James Otto and their union was blessed with eight children. Joan was a homemaker, caring for her family while James traveled for work, and always had homemade foods, caramel rolls, and canned goods to feed them all. She liked having a vegetable garden, and actively gardened into her 90s. Joan would use her own compost, save seeds for the next year, and canned much of her and other's produce. She also enjoyed quilting and crocheting, and was known to give hand-made items for gifts. As most of her brothers and her husband were all veterans, Joan began to give back and show her support of veterans. She was also a source of support and encouragement for her children, all of whom went on to college. Over the years, she was recognized often for her selfless giving of time and energy to help others. Joan volunteered her time with veterans organizations, at the Mother of Mercy Nursing Home, and at her church. She was a longtime member of Immaculate Conception Church in New Munich, and also attended and volunteered at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Melrose.

Joan is survived by her children Lois Tack, Brookfield, WI; Janice Bechdolt, Citrus Springs, FL; Tom (Marlette) Otto, Fairfax, MN; Rick (Pam) Otto, Milan, MN; Patrice Melom, St. Cloud, MN; Donna (Tom) O'Connor, Maple Grove, MN; her siblings Maynard (Mel) Sand, St. Joseph; Bert (Lorraine) Sand, New Munich; Marlene Benkowski, Morris; Syl Sand, St. Cloud; Flo (Ray) Mayers, New Munich; Jean (Clarence) Enneking, Albany; her 19 grandchildren; her 6 great-grandchildren; her son-in-law Randall McKinnis; and many other family and friends.

She is greeted in Heaven by her parents Leo and Catherine Sand, her daughter Doris McKinnis, her son Robert Otto, her sisters Lucille Sand and Pauline Krushek, and her brothers Ed, Vern, Jerome and Ervin Sand.