Dr. Otto José Gago-Bousquet

March 28, 1935February 26, 2022
Obituary of Dr. Otto José Gago-Bousquet
Dr. Otto Gago, age 86, passed away on February 26, 2022 at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his loving wife Lourdes, daughter Maria Teresa, and son Otto, Jr. by his side. According to Dr. Gago, his cause of death was a combination of “falling apart, old age, and time to kick the bucket.” Otto graduated from Escuelas Cristianas De La Salle for secondary school and completed his medical school education at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1958 where in 1983, he was awarded the Order of La Universidad and named an Honorary Professor. Dr. Gago began his formal training as a surgical intern at the University of Michigan in 1961 and would go on to lead the section of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital which became a practice model for the highest level of cardiac surgical practice and was one of the four original HCFA Demonstration Project Hospitals for excellence in coronary artery bypass procedures. He returned frequently to Venezuela to offer free cardiac and thoracic care. He met the challenges of limited supplies with his own resources, including making replacement heart valves for his patients using porcine (pig) valves. Dr. Gago retired from clinical practice in May 2005. With his generous spirit and lifelong commitment to the University of Michigan, he provided foundational support in 2008 for the creation of the Otto Gago Professorship in Cardiac Surgery, which preserves his legacy in perpetuity in the Department of Cardiac Surgery. A close family friend and colleague noted that as a physician-surgeon, Otto exemplified the care of one human being for another; his trainees, colleagues, and team members are grateful for the privilege of knowing someone who made excellence look easy. His true legacy is the way he interacted with his wife, children, grandchildren, friends, and colleagues. He was loved, and loving; a mentor who always gave credit to his teachers and colleagues; he was compassionate, caring, generous, noble, and kind. He lived his life with a sense of purpose and enjoyed hunting, sporting clay shooting, and was a car enthusiast. With his hands, he saved countless lives; with his smile and distinctive laugh, he made everyone he came into contact with better and happier. It is hard to believe that Otto has kicked the bucket, but true to his altruistic nature, he will now be lending his time and hands to “push up the daisies.” In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Dr. Gago to support either of the following: The Otto Gago, M.D. Professorship in Cardiac Surgery at the University of Michigan Checks may be made to “University of Michigan” and sent to the Michigan Medicine Office of Development, 777 E Eisenhower Pkwy, Set 650, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. You may also call 734-764-6777 or visit the website to make your gift. The St. Joseph Mercy Health System Clinical Simulation Program for the Advancement of Patient Safety Visit or make checks to St. Joseph Mercy Health System, PO Box 995, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Indicate “Dr. Otto Gago” on the Memo line. Otto was proceeded in death by his parents Otilio Tomas Gago-Baca and Bienvenida Gaciaosa Bousquet-Guzman, his older brother Carlos Eduardo Gago and his younger brother Oscar Guillermo Gago. Otto is survived by his "oracle" of a wife who was always dedicated, beautiful, fun loving and devoted for 62 years, Lourdes Gago- Echeverria. Sons Otto Jose Gago Jr. of Ann Arbor, MI, Luis Carlos Gago (Laura April) of Ann Abor, Mi and Daughter Maria Teresa (Ky) Gago-Luu of New Orleans, Louisiana. As well as their 9 grandchildren, Lucho Gago, Noah Gago, Armando Gago, Aguste Gago, Sebastian Otto Luu, Gabriel Ky Luu, Angelina Gago and Grace Gago. Otto especially adored his great-grand animals Thunder (Chesapeake Retriever canine) of Ann Arbor, MI. Poli Grappa (Lagotto Romagnolo canine), Corfu (the tortoise) and beloved Gabi (the Bearded Dragon) when they would travel so very often from New Orleans to see him Otto would often say after every difficult surgery, "That was a piece of cake". Otto, you deserve the whole cake! We Love you! A memorial mass will be 2:00 PM Friday, March 25, 2022 at St. Mary Student Parish (331 Thompson St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) followed by a celebration of the life of Dr. Otto Gago at Barton Hills Country Club. All are welcome. Please RSVP if you are planning on attending and how many guests. Please email your intentions to

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  • Lordes Gago-Echeverria Wife
  • Otto Jose Gago Jr. Son
  • Luis Carlos Gago (Laura April) Son
  • Maria Teresa Gago-Luu (Ky Luu) Daughter
  • Dr. Otto Jose Gago-Bousquet also leaves behind 9 grandchildren, Lucho Gago, Noah Gago, Armando Gago, Aguste Gago, Sebastian Otto Luu, Gabriel Ky Luu, Angelina Gago, and Grace Gago.

Past Services

Friday, March 25, 2022

A Funeral Mass

Friday, March 25, 2022

All are welcome to a celebration of life following the funeral mass. Please RSVP by March 23 if you are planning on attending and how many guests. Please email your intentions to