William Otto Staashelm, loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away Thursday, May 14, 2020, at the age of 84. Otto was born on June 11, 1935, in Maryville, Missouri, to William Henry Staashelm and Bertha Caroline (Spiegel) Staashelm.
He attended Rock Port High School where he graduated. On August 11, 1957, Otto enlisted into the Army in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He received his Honorable Discharge on February 10, 1958. Otto married the love of his life, Darlene Woods, on September 26, 1958, in Fairfax, Missouri, at the Baptist Church. He loved and cherished Darlene for 60 years. They made their home in Rock Port, Missouri. On November 12, 1959, they became parents to Patricia Caroline. In 1961, they had a son, William Deuayne. On October 18, 1991, they became grandparents to Mary Danielle.
Otto loved to go fishing and squirrel hunting. He loved to plant and work in his garden where he grew vegetables and shared them with friends and family. Otto was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Rock Port. He loved to build wooden flower boxes and plant flowers. He enjoyed cooking meals and spending time with Darlene, Patty, Danielle, and friends. Otto worked at Stub Taylor Feed, selling feed, checking in wildlife from hunters, and sharpening saw blades and knives. Otto drove a school bus for the Rock Port School District. He helped farmers drive grain trucks in the fall. He also worked at the Rock Port City Light Plant, where his father had also worked. When Danielle was visiting Otto at the Light Plant, they would frog hunt together. Otto worked at the Information Center on the interstate with Darlene, where they greeted travelers and helped them with information. Otto and Darlene enjoyed camping and making trips to Nowata, Oklahoma, to visit Darlene’s family. Otto raised orphan baby squirrels and raccoons until they would start to tear up the curtains and furniture. Then he would release them back into the wild. He loved animals. His dogs were his babies. Otto was known for his generosity, his infectious laugh, and his big-hearted spirit.
Otto was preceded in death by his father, William; his mother, Bertha; his sister, Louise; his wife, Darlene; his son, Deuayne; his daughter, Patty; and several fur babies. He is survived by his granddaughter, Danielle, and her wife, Sheri; his four great-grandchildren, Toby and his wife, Natalie, Destiny, Andrew, and Ethan; and his two great-great-grandchildren, Devin and Maclynn. Otto is also survived by his cousin,Franklin and wife Carolyn Staashelm of Westboro, Missouri.
A memorial service was held Monday, June 1, 2020, at First Lutheran Church, Rock Port, conducted by Rev. Fritz Brandenburg. Inurnment was at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Westboro. Arrangements were under the direction of Schooler Funeral Home, Fairfax.