Philip G. Otto
Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church, Wednesday, October 19, 2022.
Phil was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the oldest son of Gilbert and Agnes (nee Diekmann) Otto. He married his wife of 58 years, Phyllis (nee Dettermann), on December 28, 1963.
Phil attended St. Stephen’s Parish School, St. Mary’s High School, and received a BBA from Saint Mary’s University. He went on to receive an Executive Business degree from Stanford University. He joined Price Waterhouse and Company, followed by IBM. In 1969 he started his 26 year retail career when he joined the May Department Stores Company, as Director of Electronic Data Processing at Venture Discount Stores. He was named controller of the Kaufmann’s Department Stores division of the May Company (Pittsburgh, PA) in 1973 and in 1976 returned to Venture as Senior Vice President, Finance and Operations and became Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration in 1979. From 1984 to 1986, he was Chairman of the Meier and Frank division of the May Company (Portland, OR). He returned to serve as Venture’s chairman from 1986 to 1990, led the initial public offering of Venture, and was named president, where he remained until his retirement in May 1995.
Following Phil’s official retirement, he spent nearly 8 years as a financial advisor at Buckingham Asset Management. In addition to his retail career, Phil served as Chairman of the Regional Board of the YMCA, was on the board of St. Louis Symphony, and was Past President of the Racquet Club West.
During his life, Phil enjoyed spending time sailing with family, water skiing, snow skiing, and playing tennis, racquetball, paddleball and golf. Phil also had a love of eating dinner out with family and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Gilbert and Agnes, and brother, Don. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis (nee Dettermann), and his three children: Jeff (Patty) Otto, Greg (Natalie) Otto, and daughter Jennifer (Matt) Harbaugh, and by 10 grandchildren: Andrew, Peter, Caroline, Emily, Adam, James, Anna, Patrick, Katie, and Sarah. He is also survived by 3 siblings: Carol Smith, Dick (Pam) Otto, and Trudy (Bob) Wojciechowski and by his sister-in-law, Diane (Bruce) Hellmann, as well as by many nieces and nephews.
Services: Visitation and funeral Mass will be held Saturday, October 29 at St. Anselm Catholic Church at the St. Louis Priory School, 530 South Mason Road, Creve Coeur, MO 63141. Visitation at 10 a.m. with the Mass to follow at 11 a.m. A reception will follow in the Parish Center. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at St. Anselm, 530 South Mason Road, Creve Coeur, MO 63141, or a charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated.
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St. Mary's High School saysOctober 27, 2022 at 3:57 pm
Phil is a St. Mary’s High School Alumnus, Class of 1960. On behalf of St. Mary’s faculty, staff, and students, both past and present, we extend our most heartfelt sympathy to Phil’s family and friends.
Also, know that we share in your sorrow and grieve for your loss. Special mention and offerings of condolences to Phil’s classmates and to those students, who at one time or another, were either upper classmates or under classmates of his, and who may have known him personally or “of him” as someone they passed in the hallways, shared a table with at lunchtime or maybe even participated in some of the same extra-curricular activities as Phil did from the time he enrolled as a Freshman in September of 1956 until the time he graduated as a Senior in June of 1960.
Although Phil is gone from this life, his spirit has been and always will be here on the Campus of St. Mary’s. And just as it was in life ever since the day he enrolled and became a “Son of Mary”, daily prayers will continue to be said and daily masses will continue to be offered for him by the Brothers of Mary.
Danny Slay/ class of 1967
Executive Member -Board of Directors
St. Mary’s High School Alumni Association
Joseph Fuchs saysOctober 25, 2022 at 4:45 pm
Phyllis, you and your family have my sympathy,
I fondly remember the sweet sno cones served by JoJo, as I look out my window at your home on Federer. I still have pics of you and Diane with me as a child.
Anonymous saysNovember 14, 2022 at 5:38 pm
On behalf of the Otto family thank you for your kinds words of sympathy.
Eileen Carr saysOctober 25, 2022 at 4:18 pm
Phyllis and Family: know you are in our prayers and thoughts! May Phil Rest In Peace and enjoy his eternal reward!
Anonymous saysNovember 14, 2022 at 5:40 pm
Thank you for thinking of our family at this difficult time.
Mary/Justin Williamson saysOctober 25, 2022 at 3:46 pm
We are sorry for the entire family…Phil was a great person. I love the picture of him! A handsome man…friend, husband, and father.
Anonymous saysNovember 14, 2022 at 5:41 pm
Justin and Mary – thank you for expressing your sympathy during this difficult tie for our family.
John Mattingly saysOctober 25, 2022 at 12:28 pm
Phil was my classmate at St. Mary’s High School. It is sufficient to say he was a good guy both then and throughout his life. He will be missed.
My condolences to his family and friends.
Anonymous saysNovember 14, 2022 at 5:42 pm
Thank you for your kind words of sympathy.
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