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Robert Lewis Otley
December 31, 1941 ~ July 25, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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Robert (Bob) Lewis Otley passed peacefully at his home in rural Burns on July 25, 2023. Bob was born on December 31, 1941 in Burns Oregon to Howard and Eugenia (Moffet) Otley. Bob lived his first two years in the Drewsey area. In 1944 his grandparents and great uncle purchased the Fred Smyth Ranch in Diamond and the family moved. Bob spent his young life on the ranch learning the cattle business and at a young age he learned the meaning of hard work and responsibility. He spent his summers in the hay fields and any other job that needed to be done. He was not a fan of the long horseback rides especially going down into The Kiger Gorge and out the east side. He always said he was going to build a bridge across Kiger, so he wouldn’t have to ride in and out of there again. Whatever the season, he was there to help out.
Even though his younger years were spent on the ranch, Bob’s interest was in heavy equipment, diesel trucks and racing cars. As a young boy in Drewsey he would hear the trucks coming down Drinkinwater and he would run to the window and have his mother lift him up so he could see the trucks go by. His teenage years he was one of the coolest guys around driving his sooped up Chevy 409 car. In his later years he enjoyed going to the Meridian Speedway and watching the race cars. He also attended many races in Washington. He also enjoyed watching horse races, rodeos and old western on the tv.
Bob attended grade school at Diamond and went on to Crane High School, graduating in 1959 as salutatorian of his class. While at Crane he played football and was active in class activities. After high school he went to OTI in Klamath Falls Oregon and earned a degree in diesel mechanics. After graduating, Bob returned to Burns and went to work for Meryl Cole who had the John Deere Dealership and later worked for Leroy Jackson and started his own Redi-Mix.
Finally Bob was able to pursue his dream of owning his own business. He purchased his first dump truck and built his Logging and Construction business from there. He never purchased a new truck, he found old trucks and rebuilt them. He even built his own shop. Many great years were spent with his crew building roads and logging. Wherever they traveled for work Bob knew someone. Years later he had to start downsizing his business due to the fall of the Timber Industry. There were some difficult times, but he was determined to keep his employees working. Bob treated his crew well and he would go out of his way to help them find work. He was always willing to help anyone no matter the size of the job. He enjoyed donating his time and equipment for the Harney County Fair.
Even though Bob did not have any children of his own, he loved his nieces, nephews, great- nieces & nephews and step families dearly. He loved spending time with the family during holidays or even those cold fall days helping run cattle through the chute. He was always cussing the cows and joking around with the crew. There was never a dull moment when Bob was around.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents: Howard & Eugenia Otley, Grandparents Henry and Mary Otley, William and Mabel Moffet. Along with his aunts, uncles, cousins and some very special friends.
Bob is survived by his sister Shirley and (Earl) Carson, Nephew Todd and (Annette) Carson, Great nephew Nathan Carson, Great niece Kaylee Carson all of Diamond. Niece Robyn Carson of Hines. Two great nephews Joshua and Justin Dahl and Great niece Jessica Dahl all of Arizona. Step son Danny and (Kathy) Williams of Hines & Step grand-daughter Shayna Williams