Oct. 5, 1921 - Oct. 31, 2011
Otto Blumhagen, Walla Walla, formerly of Milton-Freewater, passed away Oct. 31, 2011, at his home at the age of 90 years. Celebration of life will be Friday, Nov. 4, at 1:30 p.m. at the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home with Rocky Blumhagen officiating. Private inurnment will be in the Milton-Freewater Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Walla Walla Community Hospice, M-F Junior Show, 4-H or charity of the donor's choice through the funeral home. Following the service, family and friends are invited to gather for refreshments and reminiscing at Park Plaza Retirement Center, 1400 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla.
Otto was born Oct. 5, 1921, in Freewater, the son of Conrad and Lydia Kiemele Blumhagen. He spent 86 years of his life living within a mile of where he was born on Winesap Road. He and his wife, Eleanor, moved to Park Plaza Retirement Residence in Walla Walla in 2007. The couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Oct. 12, 2011. During World War II, Otto served in the U.S. Army from September 1942 to January 1946, serving in England, France, Germany, and Austria with Engineer Battalion 844. After returning from the war, he married Eleanor Winn in Walla Walla on Oct. 12, 1946. Their courtship had mainly taken place through shared letters sent during their long separation. Otto worked as a carpenter for many years and eventually began working as a building contractor. Evidence of his craftsmanship and hard work can be found all over Milton-Freewater and the Walla Walla Valley. After his retirement, he volunteered his time and talents at the Frazier Farmstead Museum. During his retirement years he took the opportunity to travel with his family. Memorable trips included Germany, England, Panama Canal, New York City and South America. Before moving from their home on Appleton Road, Otto enjoyed spending time on his tractor, puttering around in his shop (creating lots of cool stuff), gardening and Happy Hour on the patio. He has always enjoyed current events, time with family and friends, and joking around with anyone who was handy. Otto's irreplaceable sense of humor and quick wit will be missed by all who knew him. He was a member of BPOE #2146.
He is survived by his wife, Eleanor Blumhagen at their home; daughter, Sandy Bartnik and son-in-law Wayne of Sherwood, Ore.; son, Rocky Blumhagen and son-in-law Rich Royse of Palo Alto, Calif., son, Larry Blumhagen and son-in-law Dave Numme of San Francisco; brother, Ben Blumhagen and sister-in-law Ellen of Shelton, Wash.; granddaughter, Heather Parson and her husband, Damon, of Sherwood, Ore.; grandson, Paul Bartnik of Portland, Ore.; great-granddaughter, Eloise Parson of Sherwood, Ore.; numerous nieces, nephews and many dear friends. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Roland and Walter Blumhagen; and two sisters, Violet Orr and Doris Griffith.