Looking for a particular obituary?

Obits submitted to The Gazette are published online and in the newspaper the next day.

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

Otto LeRoy Essington


Otto LeRoy Essington, 85, of Marion, passed away Sunday, June 24, 2018, at ManorCare in Cedar Rapids. In agreement with Otto's wishes, cremation will take place following a private family gathering. Inurnment will take place at Sunny Hill Cemetery in Adair, Iowa, at a later date.
Otto was born Oct. 25, 1932, to Frank Robert and Hazel Irene Essington in Brayton, Iowa, and grew up on the family farm north of Brayton. He graduated from Exira High School in 1950. After high school, Otto served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany from January 1953 through December 1954. He married Sally A. Blake in 1955 in Atlantic. This union resulted in the births of James, Lisa and Lori. Otto worked for Boeing in Wichita, Kan., in the field of tool and die/drafting. He returned to Iowa and worked as a farmer. In 1969, he married Pamela "Pam" J. Werth. This union resulted in the births of Michael and Brenda.
Otto worked as a truck driver until his retirement in 1994. He always had an interest in cars. He also loved to drive and, given the opportunity, he would drive anywhere, anytime. For a time, he had an interest in wood projects, and crafted several buffalo yard ornaments for family members. Later in life, he greatly enjoyed putting together jigsaw puzzles. We estimate he completed over 2,000 puzzles. He faithfully watched All-Star Wrestling. His favorite colors were John Deere green and yellow. He painted their house in Kimballton and even his pickup truck tire rims in these colors.
Otto is survived by his wife, Pam Essington of Marion; sons, James "JD" (Theresa) Essington of Otsego, Minn., and Michael (Misty) Essington of Polk City, Fla.; daughters, Lisa (Joseph) Des Marais of Brainerd, Minn., Lori Grittner of Pillager, Minn., and Brenda Essington (partner, Monte Spanier) of Cedar Rapids; brother, Robert (Dianna) Essington of Atlantic; sister, Charlotte Bopp of Carmel, Ind.; brother-in-law, Rich (Sue) Werth; grandchildren, Philip (Luda) Essington, Alexander Essington, Benjamin Essington, Andrew Essington, Jennifer (Andrew) Ranweiler, Matthew Des Marais, Timothy Grittner and Luke (Kayla) Grittner; six great-grandchildren; three nieces; and one nephew.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers-in-law, Walter Bopp and Larry Werth; parents-in-law, Stanley and Virjean Werth; and son-in-law, Michael Grittner.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests any memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society.
Please share a memory of Otto at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.