Ottilie "Otty" Blodi
OTTILIE "OTTY" S. BLODI Iowa City Ottilie "Otty" S. Blodi, a United States Army Women's Army Corps veteran of World War II, died Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, surrounded by her family at Oaknoll Retirement Community in Iowa City. She was 101 years old. Otty's wishes were to have her body donated to the UIHC Deeded Body Program. A Memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Oaknoll Retirement Residence. In lieu of flowers, Otty's family requests memorials be directed toward the Hancher Guild. She was born Oct. 20, 1917, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and raised in a small town on the outskirts of Vienna. In her teens, she lived with her aunt and uncle after her mother remarried and moved to New York City. Otty immigrated to the United States in 1938, mainly due to fears of imminent war in Europe. In doing so, she left behind her fiance, Frederick Blodi, who was enrolled in medical school in Vienna. Living in New York with her mother and stepfather, she held various jobs including dental hygienist and governess. Almost immediately after becoming a United States citizen in 1944, she enlisted in the United States Army Women's Army Corps. She did this with the goal of searching for her fiance, from whom she had heard very little during the war. After training at Fort Des Moines and briefly working in a medical triage facility in New York, she was assigned in late 1945 to work as a translator in post-war Germany and Austria helping interrogate Nazi officers. She enjoyed being a member of the Women's Army Corps and reached the rank of technical sergeant. She was sent to various cities including Bonn, Berlin and Salzburg. She traveled to Vienna to look for Fred and found him working at the Vienna General Hospital, where he had regained his job after having been imprisoned for political crimes against the Third Reich. This most happy reunion led to their marriage. Receiving permission from her commanding officer, General Mark Clark, she wed Frederick in the Hapsburg Imperial Chapel in Vienna on April 22, 1946. The wedding was officiated by the Bishop of Vienna and included the Vienna Choir Boys singing the Mass. Otty was married in her army uniform. In 1947, the couple moved to New York City when Frederick was awarded a World Health Organization fellowship to continue his medical training at Columbia University. In 1952, the couple moved to Iowa City after Frederick accepted a faculty position in Ophthalmology at the University of Iowa. Otty lived in Iowa City thereafter and always said that it was the most wonderful place to be. She was an important supporter of her husband's academic medical career and raised their children, Christopher and Barbara in the family home on Dill Street. She was active in the United Nations Association, the Unitarian Church and was especially supportive of the arts, working with others to establish the Civic Music Association of Iowa City, and the Hancher Guild. Otty enjoyed playing tennis, skiing and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. As many in Iowa City know, Otty was an excellent cook and hostess and was especially talented in making Austrian desserts. After Frederick's death in 1996 she moved to the Oaknoll Retirement Community and lived there happily for the next decades. Otty is survived by her two children, Christopher (Patricia) of Clive and Barbara (Justin Gottlieb) of Madison, Wis.; four grandchildren, Ryan (Bree Stopera) Blodi, Frederick Blodi and Jeremy and Andrea Gottlieb; and two great-grandchildren, Ella and Jonas Blodi. The family remembers and cherishes her many friendships, including with the entire Nusser family, Dorothy Paul, the Parrotts, Tom Weingeist, Bruce Spivey, the Fuerste family and many, many others, not only in Iowa but throughout the entire world. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.lensingfuneral.com.