Jean Ottmar

September 26, 1925February 13, 2013

Jean Ottmar 09/26/1925 – 02/13/2013

Pacific Grove – Jean was born and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her first employment was with the Civil Aeronautics Administration as an Aircraft Communicator. After training for this position in Chicago, she was assigned to Dickinson, North Dakota, where she met Bud Ottmar. They were married in February, 1944, on a day in which he also received notice he was drafted.

Jean and Bud resided in North Dakota after the war so he could continue his education. He earned his Master of Education Degree at the University of Minnesota. His first teaching position was in 1950 in Anchorage, Alaska, where he taught in the High School and the Community College. In 1953, Jean returned to work as Secretary to the manager of a department store.

Jean and her family later moved to Hollister, San Benito County, where Bud taught physical education and sports at Hollister High School and alter at Gavilan Community College. Bud passed away in 1980.

Jean was employed as Secretary or Executive secretary to many different employers, including the Superintendent of the local school district, the city Attorney of Hollister, the Selective Service System for San Benito County, and the Construction Engineer for San Felipe Water Project of the Bureau of Reclamation. From 1981 to 1987 she served as Secretary for the Sacred Heart Church in Hollister.

Governor Jerry Brown appointed her to be one of seven directors of the 33rd Agricultural District Board which ran the San Benito County Fair.

Believing that women should have responsible positions, Jean ran for County Supervisor of San Benito County, but was unsuccessful. Later she was elected to one of seven positions as Trustee of Gavilan Community College District. She then became Chairman of the Board, a position rotated by the seven members.

After retiring in April, 1987 from her Secretarial position with the Sacred Heart Church, she attended San Jose State College from 1988 to 1992, where she obtained a degree in Social Science, a praiseworthy achievement after her years working in various secretarial positions, in which she gained much information about business, education, law, government, and engineering.

Jean has travelled widely outside of the United States. She has travelled through Europe, China, Mongolia, Russia, Thailand, Mexico, South America, twice to Africa, and twice to Japan. She enjoyed freighter travel the best.

Jean is survived by her sons Michael (Muriel) Ottmar of Seaside, CA, Richard (Sue) Ottmar of South Carolina and David (Cathie) Ottmar of Albuquerque, NM grandchildren, Scott, Ken, Ben, Carl, Lise Marie, Julie and Andrew.

Services will be on Monday, February 18, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at San Juan Bautista Cemetery, 70 Monterey, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045. In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.


Jean Ottmar

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


February 25, 2013

Jean will be missed here at Forest Hill Manor and she will always be in our prayers.

Linda Lauderdale
Forest Hill Manor Dir. of environmental services.

Pablo Balancio

February 16, 2013

To the Ottmar Family, I remember her as theater student and College Trustee at Gavilan. I always thought she was great at both. Pablo Balancio current Gavilan College employee and former Freelance Newspaper Photographer.

I also have a digital photo taken of her for the Freelance about 12/28/2001. You are welcome to it. Email me at the college if you would like a copy.