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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois State Senate are
3saddened to learn of the death of former Illinois State
4Senator Dr. Merrill William George Ottwein, who passed away on
5March 21, 2024; and
6    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein was born to Oscar John and Hilda
7(Bardelmeier) Ottwein in Troy on April 24, 1929; and
8    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein attended Troy schools; he received a
9Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with highest honors from
10the University of Illinois in 1951, a Master of Science in
11Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois in
121953, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with honors from the
13University of Illinois in 1956; and
14    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein married Grace Schmidt at Frieden's
15United Church of Christ in Troy on September 2, 1950; and
16    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein founded Hawthorne Animal Hospital in
17Glen Carbon in 1956 and practiced until 1966 when his family
18moved for a year to Honduras to conduct veterinary and
19agricultural mission work through the United Church World
20Ministries; and



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1    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein campaigned for the Illinois State
2Senate in 1969 on the slogan of "People Power"; he sought to
3bring about a more decentralized government to improve the
4quality of American life upon the principles that education,
5including vocational training, must be of the highest
6priority, that our environment and our relations to it must be
7a constant consideration, and that a morality of contribution,
8national purpose and unity, and old-fashioned patriotism
9should be the order of the day; and
10    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein won election to an unexpired term in
11the Illinois Senate in 1969, becoming the first Republican
12senator from the 53rd District in more than 30 years; and
13    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein served on the Education,
14Conservation, Agriculture, and Public Welfare committees
15during his tenure in the senate; and
16    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein was appointed a member of the
17Illinois School Problems Commission and the Urban Education
18Commission and served as chairman of the Committee for
19Unification and Coordination of Social Services in Illinois;
21    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein introduced legislation to require
22visual examinations for students in Illinois and for the



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1establishment of a St. Louis Metropolitan Airport, as well as
2a measure to finance a water pollution control as part of a
3legislative package supported by Governor Richard Ogilvie; and
4    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein, after serving for one term, became
5involved with developing communities and founded his company,
6Homebuyer's Relocation Services, with his son, Paul; he also
7served on numerous industry-related boards and committees; and
8    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein's first love was his family, but he
9also enjoyed singing in various barbershop and vocal groups,
10playing his trombone in community bands and small ensembles,
11and researching family history; and
12    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein was preceded in death by his parents
13and his grandson, Dr. Brent Leh; and
14    WHEREAS, Dr. Ottwein is survived by his wife of 73 years,
15Grace Ottwein; his sister, Audrey Deeren; his children, Ann
16(Michael) Culp, Amy (Keith) Zagar, Paul (Amber) Ottwein, and
17Emily Ottwein; his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, John
18Ottwein and Nicole DeVerter-Ottwein, Adam and Jessica Ottwein
19(Annabelle and Oscar), Tyler Ottwein and Emma Pieper, Dakota
20Roper and fiancÚ Tyler Orgler, Richard and Laura Leh (Devyn),
21Matthew and Catherine Zagar (Jane and Dylan), Patrick Zagar,
22Benjamin Ottwein, Bethany and Eric Paulsen (Emmet), Benjamin



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1and Megan Culp (Julia, Wesley, Owen), Nathan and Pamela Culp
2(Clayton), and Gregory and Victoria Culp (Brentleigh and
3Elisabeth); and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews;
4therefore, be it
6ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn the passing of
7Dr. Merrill William George Ottwein and extend our sincere
8condolences to his family, friends, and all who knew and loved
9him; and be it further
10    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
11presented to the family of Dr. Ottwein as an expression of our
12deepest sympathy.