Obituaries

Otto T.H. Althoff III, 80, former VUMS Math teacher

OTTO T.H. ALTHOFF III

PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Otto T.H. Althoff III of Plymouth, Mass., and formerly of Vermont, passed away on April 29, 2021, at the Newfield House in Plymouth at the age of 80. He was the beloved husband of Suzanne (Gras) Althoff; loving father of Robin Kauffman and her significant other Larry, Jill Herrera and her significant other Todd, Dawn Bennett, Wendy Moran and her significant other Steve, Steve Letendre and his wife Stephanie, Christopher Smith and his wife Suzanne, and Thatcher Smith and his wife Jennifer; cherished grandfather of Amber, Nicolas, Jeslin, Zacary, Knisha, Morgan, Sebastian, Jennifer, Madysen, Kyla, Kalia, Betsy, Kalyna, Kayden, Sean, Larissa, Sadie, Wyatt, Lincoln, and Grady; great-grandfather of nineteen. He was the brother of Suzanne Gallagher and her husband Bob and the late Lenola Varner. He was also the brother-in-law of Jane Heigis and her husband Bob, Peter Gras and his wife Heather and Pamela Ryan and her husband Bob. 
Otto was born on September 13, 1940, in Detroit, Mich., to the late Otto T.H. Althoff, Jr. and Ruth (Helka) Oresky. Otto entered the Marine Corps at a young age and served for twenty years. During those years he not only served three tours of duty in Vietnam as a fighter pilot, but had the opportunity to advance his education. A few examples are attending and completing the United States Naval Justice School and more advanced U.S. Naval Air Technical Training. He received many commendations along the way, such as, “In the performance of your duties you demonstrated the highest caliber of initiative, resourcefulness, and thoroughness, acting always in the best interests of the service.” Other commendations and badges include Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation Gallantry Cross with Palm, Navy Unit Commendation, Letter of Appreciation, Pistol Expert Badge 9th Award, Rifle Expert Badge No. 8 Award.
After retiring from the Marine Corps Otto eventually decided to become a mathematics professor, and high school and middle school math and science teacher. He taught at a variety of Vermont schools including Castleton State College, University of Vermont, and Vergennes, South Hero and North Hero Middle Schools. A colleague that taught with Otto for 10 years at Vergennes said, “He challenged students to see potential in themselves. Occasionally he would share a story of how math and flying became a powerful combination. Otto had high expectations for all students and would also watch for needs, quietly paying lunch money bills and purchasing coats. Otto was a presence in the lives of his students and his colleagues.”
Otto’s family is planning to have a private celebration of life in the near future. In lieu of flowers, donations in Otto’s name may be made to The Friends of Fletcher Free Library, 235 College St., Burlington, VT 05401 or fletcherfree.org. For more information or to sign the online guestbook please visit cartmelldavis.com.◊

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