Dr. William J. (Bill) Otto


Dr. William J. (Bill) Otto, Jr., 87, of Manchester-by-the-Sea and Exeter NH, passed away on January 14 with his daughters by his side.  Born in Brookline, MA on January 11, 1936, he was the only child of Gertrude and William J. Otto, Sr. of St. Augustine, FL.  

He was the first in his family to attend college and reflected on the opportunity to attend and graduate Harvard College and Harvard Medical School as a life-changing stroke of luck.  Following his medical training at Massachusetts General Hospital, he served as a physician and Captain in the U.S. Army, stationed in Orleans, France and Brussels, Belgium. This time abroad was a chapter of life where Bill and his late wife Mary Ellen met many of their closest friends. 

He was a leader at Beverly Hospital for over 40 years, serving as radiologist, Beverly Hospital Board of Trustees member, Medical Staff President, Chief of Radiology and Treasurer of the Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation.  A longtime resident of Manchester, he served on the town’s Board of Health for many years.  At Riverwoods, his retirement community in Exeter NH, he was on the welcoming committee and the Employee Appreciation committee. 

An avid reader, world traveler, fisherman, watercolorist, sailor, wine enthusiast and storyteller, Bill was deeply loved by many and a shining light of positivity, knowledge, and compassion. He was a calm, benevolent, life-enjoying person with a generous heart.  He was deliberate about building a meaningful personal and professional life; he was observant and curious about the patterns of social relationships and institutions.  He carried an interesting, informed and tolerant perspective on current events and our changing and complex society. He loved to learn.

He was a solid shoulder to lean on, and he gave wise counsel; his consistent message was that you were doing great as you are, “do your best, that’s all you can do…,” and things will work out okay. He wrapped up phone calls to his kids by saying, “God love you, and peace to you.”

His family was the center of his world.  He loved them “more than you’ll ever know” and spoke often of how proud he was of them.  He was preceded in death by his devoted wife of fifty-four years, Mary Ellen Otto, and his beloved grandson, Nicholas Owens.  He leaves behind his daughters, Adrienne Frame and her husband, Jim, of Winter Springs, Florida, and Leslie Owens and her husband, Erik, of West Roxbury; and grandchildren Madison and Tyler Frame, and Graham Owens.  

Family, friends and colleagues are warmly invited to attend a Celebration of his Life to be held in early summer. Information on this service will be available from Campbell Funeral Home or via Adrienne or Leslie.  Memorial contributions in memory of Dr. William Otto may be made to the Beverly Hospital Greatest Needs Fund, https://giving.bilh.org/beverlyhospital/.

united states army, nicholas owens, mary ellen otto, beverly hospital, evelyn lilly lutz foundation, massachusetts general hospital, harvard medical school, william j. (bill) otto, jr., william j. bill, william j. bill otto