Gerald L. Otterbacher, 85, of Litchfield Township went to his heavenly home on Weds., June 14, 2023.
Jerry was born in Elyria, Ohio on December 16, 1937 to the late Rupert and Grace (nee Shore). He grew up in Valley City and has been a lifelong resident of Medina County.
He was a life member of Zion Lutheran Church, Valley City and was an active supporter of 4-H. He was also a life member of Greater Ohio Showmen’s Association, International Independent Showmen’s Association, Ohio Fairs Managers Association, Winchester Arms Association, Lifetime member of Safari Club international and Lifetime member of National Rifle Association. Jerry enjoyed hunting, fishing and overall, was a wildlife outdoor enthusiast. His love of hunting and adventure called Jerry to hunt on 6 of the 7 continents of the world.
During his hunting travels he collect3ed the accomplishments of Oxen of the World, Turkey Grand Slam, Cats of the World, Spiral horned animals of Africa, Copper level of Trophy of the South Pacific, African Big 5, and created wonderful memories with his wife Penny, family and friends.
Jerry grew up in the Outdoor Amusement Industry and was actively involved until his passing. Jerry started out his career in the Outdoor Amusement Business working carnival games for his father on the Gooding Amusement Company. From knock down joints to Bingo tents, from Candy Apples to Hawaiian drinks. Jerry worked or owned them all. If you could think of a food item to buy at a fair or festival, Jerry had probably sold it. In fact, he was always looking for the next new product to introduce at fairs, festivals or events. Like Jerry’s parents, he operated confection trailers the most and was one of many family members using the Otterbacher family Carmel Corn recipe. Jerry and his wife Penny also owned Sun Valley Rides with Jerry’s nephew Paul Otterbacher. They provided amusement rides to fairs and festivals across the state of Ohio. He concession business operated at the Ohio State and Michigan State Fairs, as well as countless fairs and festivals throughout Ohio, and his route took him as far as the state of Florida. Jerry’s love for the Outdoor Amusement Business was second to one. He was truly a Showmen’s Showman.
He was a man who lived a full life and also carried a full heart for his family and friends. Being a man of few words, h didn’t always speak his thoughts and feelings. Instead, he cared for his loved ones and friends through his deeds and actions. The emotions may have been too deep in his heart to always share with is loved ones, however, he always wanted nothing but the best for his family and friends. HE wanted them to be happy and loved his family and friends more than they will ever know.
We will see him down the road.
He will be greatly missed by his beloved wife of 46 years this month, Penny (nee Davis), loving father of Connie (Jeffrey) Shields, Gerald Alan Otterbacher (dec.) wife Karen; Cathy (Mike) Bassani, Kristin (Robert) Davis, Jasmine Otterbacher and Jeffrey (Paulina) Otterbacher.
Cherished grandfather of Ben, Daniel, Jared, Jacob, Melissa, Mandy (dec.), Harrison, Charles, Miriam, Nate, Zack, Morgan, Thomas, Nela and Elizabeth. Special great grandfather of 8. Dear brother of Gaylord (Barbara); Lois Gallapoo (dec.) husband David; Melvin (dec.) wife Sally; Curtis (dec.) wife Marguerite and Carol (Roger) Morlock. Sister-in-law Candy (Al) Herman. Numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation 4:00-8:00 PM, Monday, June 26, 2023 in the Gathering Area of Zion Lutheran Church, 2323 Abbeyville Road Valley City. Funeral Service- 10:00 am Tuesday, June 27, 2023 at Zion Lutheran Church.
Burial- Zion Church Cemetery, Valley City, OH
In lieu of flowers-the family suggests memorials to the Greater Ohio Showmen’s Association c/o of the Rupert Otterbacher Scholarship, P. O. Box 43, Pataska, Ohio 43062
The Bauer Funeral Home, Valley City has the honor of serving the Otterbacher family.