Keaton’s Redwood Chapel of Marin

1801 Novato Blvd, Novato, CA


Elen Thorhild Ottman

June 13, 1927September 12, 2019

Elen Thorhild Ottman, 92, most recently of Rohnert Park, California, and previously a longtime resident of Novato, California, passed away peacefully Thursday, September 12, 2019, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born in Norway on June 13, 1927, the youngest of three children to parents, Trygve (Thomas) and Ellen Espeland, who moved the family to America (New York City) later that year. After high school, being extremely artistic, she worked in Manhattan for The Norcross Greeting Card Company, and later as a fabric designer for J.H. Thorp & Co., where she met her first husband, Vincent LaRocca, a traveling salesman for the company. They started out in an apartment in Brooklyn in the late 1940s, then a house in Yonkers, and eventually to a new home in Stamford, Connecticut in 1955, where they lived until their divorce in 1969.

She and her six children all moved to California (Marin County) in the mid-1970s. She worked for many years at Villa Marin, as their receptionist and “resident artist,” designing and drawing posters and murals for various social events. There she met her second husband, Harold Ottman, a retired machinist. They married in 1997. Very much in love, they enjoyed traveling together; their theme song being, “On The Road Again.” After he passed away in 2005, she worked as a beloved caregiver for Visiting Angels, retiring in 2011 at the age of 83.

Her greatest passion was her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She is survived by her daughters, Laura and Patricia; her sons, Lance, Tom, Vince, and Jim; and their families, including eighteen grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren; and her sister, Sonja, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Her brother, George, passed away in 2007.

Anyone who knew her felt her loving spirit and, if you had a need, she was “All In!”

A graveside service and reception for her family will be held at Valley Memorial Park Cemetery in Novato, California.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Elen Thorhild Ottman

have a memory or condolence to add?

Lance La Rocca

September 28, 2019

Mom, I know you are with us now, in spirit and with us forever!!

God, mom and dad, thank you for giving me, my children and my family LIFE!!

Mom I am sure you are cracking a big smile and doing the Hula in Heaven with your husband Harold, all of your extended family and friends. :)
Your probably also telling Harold how much you love him!

Soon after my mother's passing on our sister Laura's birthday September 12, 2019 "what a new life miracle that is"...and upon finishing one of my early morning runs, as I saw the sun rising right in front of me, I asked mom to please show me she was still with me and to please give me a hug and please touch my soul.
Just as I asked this, "for sure my mother gave me that hug and touched my soul as I could feel comforting chills going up my spine and then surrounding my head, just like I have felt with the Holly Spirit.
This has now happen many times when I call out to Mom!

My brother Tom also said it so well when I cried out to mom to please not leave me upon mom's passing!!!
Tom then said; mom has not left you, there is a part of mom in all of her children including you Lance!

My goodness, how mom loved her coffee!!
Extra cream, no sugar because she is already so sweet! 🤗

I will never forget all of the phrase mom would say to me, such as:

Lance you need to wear a coat, it's cold outside!!
Mom also always kept us warm!! 🤗

Can't everyone just get a long!
Not to worry mom, God is also watching and we will be polite to each other.

Jude 1:20-21
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto "eternal life."

Knowing I could never handle the thought or reality of "not" ever seeing my children and loved ones some day, God comforted me this simple yet very powerful message that I say often now;



Love your son Lance

Sonja Martin

September 24, 2019

My sweet loving Aunt Elen. It is hard to imagine our world without her. My memories are full of our families together. From the beaches of Florida to the northeast coast of Connecticut, we were all so intertwined.

So much of our families photos and home movies were of two sisters and their combined eleven kids growing up together.

Even when my mother and Elen were separated by long distance, when my mother moved to Florida, I remember helping to keep the bond strong with my monthly jaunts with my dog Louie up to Connecticut from New Jersey in my thread bare jalopy to see my Aunt Elen. Her passing has taken a piece from my being. I loved her and I will miss her.

Kamie Pillay

September 22, 2019

I remember Elen as such a warm women.I remember she use to give us ride to school.I met her when I was in middle school.I met her daughter Laura.And she took me in like her own daughter.I remember when these 2 boys were bulling me and she told them to back off. I remember her as a very good mother.

Eileen Young

September 20, 2019

I’m the niece of my Aunt Elen. She was a huge and important part of my upbringing. Our mothers were very close sisters & as a result, my cousin, Jim was very much a brother to me. My Aunt Elen was the most generous & loving woman in my life. She was always there for my mother, my Uncle George, my disabled brother, Bobby and me. She would fly across the country from California to Florida in the midst of any any calamity my family might be suffering. I could always count on my Aunt Elen to come at a moment’s notice, even if a direct hurricane was approaching Florida. She was a second mother to me & I loved her dearly. I have a hole in my heart at the loss of her and I will miss her and her beautiful, loving, brave, giving and fun-loving heart always.
Her thankful niece, Eileen

Mary Trout

September 19, 2019

Elen was my daughter Wendy’s mother in law and we Elen and I shared the love of her son Vince and three precious grand boys-Luciano, Landon and Liam. Those boys love Norwegian pancakes and Elen lovingly shared her talent of making them, with me! We always give her credit, when I make them. Wonderful loving lady. I miss her. Condolences to all the family.❤️🙏