Otto J. Mihalich Sr., 78, died Nov. 12, 2002, at the community hospital in Grand Junction.
Otto was born Jan. 12, 1924, in Walsenburg, to Vinko and Mary (Ceaber) Mihalich.
They lived in Walsenburg until Otto was 10 years old, at which time they moved to Haybro and then a year later to Oak Creek.
Otto attended school at the Haybro and Trout Creek schools. He served in the U.S. Army during WWII and was wounded in France.
Following his discharge from the service, he returned to Oak Creek and on June 29, 1964, he married Nettie M. Hunter in Glenwood Springs.
Otto was a farmer and also worked at various coal mines in the area as well as P&M Coal Mine, where he worked until his retirement in 1986.
He was very active in the Oak Creek community, serving several years on the Town Board and on the South Routt School Board, and was a longtime member of the Oak Creek Fire Department.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing. Otto moved to Fruita two years ago.
He is survived by a daughter, Betty "Sissy" (Mike) Fredrickson of Craig; a son, Otto "Bud" (Shani) Mihalich Jr. of Fruita; grandchildren Tiana Mihalich, and Tristan, Shelby, Kyle and Ashley Fredrickson; and a sister, Olga Fredrickson of Rifle.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Walter, and his wife, Nettie, who died in February 2000.
A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. Nov. 17, 2002, at the Oak Creek Cemetery with Mark Rossi officiating.