January 13, 2019
William “Bill” Botten was born on April 10, 1942 to Almer and Vernette (Jahn) Botten at the Montevideo Hospital. He attended grade school though 8th grade at St. Joseph’s Catholic School and graduated from the Montevideo High School in 1960. The class of ‘60 was always a source of joy, pride, and friendships. He was a lifelong member of St. Joseph Catholic Church where he was baptized and confirmed and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He married Susan Mooney on July 30, 1966 at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Granite Falls. Their two sons, Michael and Jason, were the pride and joy of Bill’s life. After graduating from high school, Bill worked as a butcher at the Red Owl Store in Montevideo where Myron Hanson taught him the tools of the trade. He spent his entire career as your local groceryman. He wore many hats at the store including managing the dairy and meat departments as well as serving as a general store manager. He worked through the many transitions of Red Owl on Black Oak Avenue, to the new store on Legion Drive, finally ending his career at County Market on Highway 7. He loved his job because of all the people he met on a daily or weekly basis. Along with all his required tasks like scheduling, ordering, and stocking; he was the listener, the consoler to the grieving or those in pain, the mentor to all the young people who worked under him, and the candy man to the kids who he gave treats to when they came shopping with mom or dad. The spirit in his heart and his effusive good humor always made customers leave with a smile on their face. God gave him the gift of loving everyone equally. Everyone was important to him and he cared for many as he stocked shelves, visited with salespeople, and helped customers find items or make special requests for unique items. For 27 years, Bill’s friend Mike Botzek, “the Kraft Man,” joined Bill at home for lunch on Wednesdays when he made his weekly sales visit to the store. Bill was on a medical journey his entire life. He faced many serious medical challenges ranging from hearing loss to kidney transplants to cancer. His resiliency and courage approaching each of these challenges was an inspiration to all who knew him. And on his journey, Bill met some of the most respected and powerful doctors and nurses, who we will never forget. They always helped put a smile on his face and courage in his heart to keep coming back with renewed hope and energy. Through these experiences, Bill learned to appreciate each day for the gift it is. He lived fully, and his happiness and good humor was infectious to all those who interacted with him. One of Bill’s passions was spending time on his land along the Minnesota River. His love of nature and the outdoors filled his life with outdoor projects including being a caretaker of his native prairie grassland, planting gardens and trees, harvesting native prairie grass seeds and flowers, and cutting wood to heat his home. He was an observer of nature everywhere he went. His knowledge of plants, animals, and the seasons rivaled a nature website on the internet. He was a self-trained scientist who kept records ranging from the water levels of the river and where it would be on the road to the land, the habits of the eagle that nested on his land, when the fish would bite on a certain day, and the trials and errors of deer hunting each year. He was a historian of the nature that surrounded him. In his last year, Bill harvested milkweed seeds and spread them on the land for the butterflies. He learned the art of maple syruping on his land, and for years the coming of spring meant the start of maple syrup season, a dauntless endeavor that he shared with school groups, community organizations, and any friend who was interested and appreciated homemade maple syrup with their breakfast. Perhaps most of all, Bill loved to hunt and fish. For 13 years, his faithful golden retriever, Rusty, accompanied him on each trip to the woods. Rusty and Bill were inseparable. After Rusty died, despite his great love of dogs, Bill was never able to get another dog, believing none could replace Rusty. We like to think Bill and Rusty are now teamed up again for countless hours of duck-hunting, naps on the porch, and walks in the woods. Above all, Bill was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. He filled our lives with encouragement, firmness, role-modeling, and respect. He was an active participant in Mike and Jason’s lives, always teaching them the rules. His #1 Rule was: “If you’re going to do a job, do it right the first time!” To his children and grandchildren, Bill passed along a strong sense of right and wrong, the value of doing your best at any job you attempt, and the absolute magic of having good humor and being good to your peers. He was an active participant in the Boy Scouts, 4-H, and all his kids’ sports; and he taught his kids how to hunt, fish, split wood, and care for the land. Bill’s grandkids will never forget their time fishing with him along the creek. Bill was strict, firm, loving, and encouraging. He was a caretaker of many friends and relatives near and far. He spent many days visiting old friends who no longer could get out and about, bringing weekly meals to their homes or talking with them on the phone to keep in touch. His spirit was enriched with music, and he held many musical collections close to his heart. He loved to listen to Sirius 50’s and 60’s on his and Sue’s many trips to Rochester. Bill and Sue were married for 52 years –– 52 years of caring for one another and for their children, enjoying their land, gardening, traveling, taking care of others, opening their home to those who needed it, involving themselves in many community events, spending time with their grandchildren, and enjoying days and nights on the porch in the summer and in the woods in the fall. God was good to them, blessing them with the good things in life: faith, hope, love, family, and good friends. Because they had all these things, they were able to gracefully endure the many challenges life brought them. Their faith was a light for their path; their hope kept them strong; and the love they gave to others brought them joy. Each of their friendships reminded them what was important in life. Bill is lovingly remembered by his wife Susan (Mooney) Botten; his son Michael Botten and grandchildren Joshua, Samuel, and Isabella of Shakopee; his son Jason Botten and wife Martha and grandchildren Alexandra and Ella of Williston, Vermont; his sister Ann Kruse of Granite Falls; his sister Maxine “Bee“ Heinemann and husband Kenneth of Dell Rapids, South Dakota; his sister-in-law Beverly Botten of Montevideo; his sister-in-law Janice Mooney of Hutchinson; his sister-in-law Jill Coudron and husband Paul of Dayton, Ohio; his brother-in-law Tim Mooney and wife Molly of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and his many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Bill was preceded in death by his parents Almer and Vernette Botten; his brother Harold Botten; his sister Dorothy Myers and husband Gerald; his brother-in-law Richard “Dick” Kruse; his infant brother Larry Botten; his parents-in-law Babe and Florence Mooney; and his brother-in-law David Mooney. The family would like to praise and give thanks to the Rice Hospice staff, especially Mackenzie Snortum, who cared for Bill in his final weeks, and to Dr. Hanna, whose care was so gentle and helpful in Bill’s final year, and to all of our friends and family for their countless phone calls, visits, offerings of food and help, and above all the love they provided.
William “Bill” Botten was born on April 10, 1942 to Almer and Vernette (Jahn) Botten at the Montevideo Hospital. He attended grade school though 8th grade at St. Joseph’s Catholic School and graduated from the Montevideo High... View Obituary & Service Information
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