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Bernice L. Otto

Bernice L. Otto

Bernice L. Otto, age 89 of Cannon Falls and formerly of New Trier, died peacefully surrounded by her loving children on Monday morning, May 13, 2019, at Mayo Clinic Health Systems ~ Cannon Falls.

Bernice, the eldest daughter of Peter and Gertrude (Dummer) Leifeld, was born on September 2, 1929, in Beloit, Wisconsin, and moved to Hastings where she attended Guardian Angels Catholic School. Following her graduation from Hastings High School with the class of 1947, Bernice was united in marriage to Nick "Tubby" Otto on November 12, 1949, at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Hastings. They were blessed with eight children and sixty-nine years of marriage prior to Nick's recent passing on December 30, 2018. Bernice was a dedicated homemaker and a wonderful baker and was eager to try new recipes. Bernice also enjoyed canning the countless items that came from Nick's large gardens. She and Nick enjoyed camping, bowling, playing Euchre every Tuesday and Thursday nights at local establishments, going on bus trips with friends, and watching baseball games, especially the Miesville Mudhens, Hampton Cardinals, and the Minnesota Twins. Bernice was also an active member of St. Mary's Catholic Church. After moving to Twin Rivers in Cannon Falls in 2014, Bernice enjoyed playing bingo, reading, and solving crossword puzzles.

She was preceded in death by her parents; love of her life, Nick; son-in-law, Harvey Duffing; grandson, Jonathon Otto; sibling, Marcy Gabbert, Leonard Leifeld, Genevieve Wahlstrom, Loretta VanGundy, Lucille Nogle, and Theresa Leifeld; and by the Leifeld and Otto family members that have gone before her.

Bernice is survived by her children, Jeanne Duffing, Mike (Karen) Otto, Ron (Joann) Otto, Jerry (Michelle) Otto, Julie (Kerry) Otte, Theresa Otto, Ken (Suzy) Otto, and Marv (Deanne) Otto; nineteen grandchildren and thirty-six great grandchildren; sister, Patrica Serres; brothers-in-law, Bob Gabbert, Al VanGundy, Jim Otto and Joe (Karen) Otto; and by numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 16, 2019, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in New Trier, with Father Terry Beeson officiating. Interment will follow at the parish cemetery.

Family and friends are cordially invited to a visitation from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday evening, and for one hour prior to the Mass on Thursday morning, all at church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Mary's Catholic Church in memory of Bernice.

For guestbook and further information, please visit

Arrangements are being completed by Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel of Hastings.