Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Dorothy M. (Swenson) Otto, age 86

Dorothy Otto, 86, died peacefully on Saturday morning, March 27, 2021 at her home in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas with her daughters by her side. Dort was born on May 28, 1934, the only child of Eskil W. and Mildred Hope (Bailey) Swenson. She grew up spending a lot of time on her grandparents’ farm in rural Cherry Valley, Illinois. Dort went to Cherry Valley grade school and graduated from Rockford East High School in 1952, where she and Richard Otto became high school sweethearts. They were married on June 6, 1953 in Cherry Valley. They were eventually able to buy her grandparents’ beloved farm, renovate the house and raise their daughters there. Dick and Dort had a lot of fun performing and doing tricks in water skiing shows, square dancing, snowmobiling and fishing together, with Dort often catching larger fish. Dort was a Girl Scout leader for several years. She taught her daughters to ride horseback when they were just little girls, something she’d done since she was a young girl herself. In the 1990s, Dick and Dort moved to their home on Long Lake in Washburn county, Wisconsin for more snowmobiling and fishing. From there they moved to Arkansas, where Dort was involved with the Hot Springs Village writers group and the HSV Republican Women club, and was a member of Woodlands Presbyterian Church. Dort’s true passion in life was writing. In the 1990s, she was inspired to write about her life, and since then she has written books, short stories and some very funny limericks for her family to cherish. Dick preceded her in death on December 19, 2006. She is survived by her three daughters, Lisa (Dave) Imhoff, Rhea (Gary) Lancaster, and Cara Otto, and one granddaughter, Jenessa Lancaster. There will be a memorial service on Thursday, April 1 at 11:00 a.m. at Woodlands Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs Village, with a fellowship at the church following the service. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Salvation Army.

Arrangements are entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas. 501-982-3400


  • Ruth Riley Posted March 30, 2021 3:31 PM

    My prayers for comfort and peace are with your family

  • Gay Stettinius Posted March 30, 2021 3:55 PM

    She was a dear friend, always with a smile.

  • Lynn Burks, RN. Elite Hospice Posted March 30, 2021 4:28 PM

    Dort was a very special lady. Her sweet spirit will be missed! Thank you for allowing me in her home to help with her care!

  • Angela Mann Posted March 30, 2021 4:51 PM

    Dort was alway such a “hoot”. She made me smile each time I saw her. I know she will be missed dearly by her daughters and all that knew her.

    • Robbie Davis Posted March 31, 2021 8:52 AM

      & the stories! Yes she was a hoot & anyone that came into her presence was guaranteed to smile. No doubt will be missed & this world needs more like her!

  • Marilyn Carstens Posted March 30, 2021 5:35 PM

    What a precious lady and a sweet friend. So thankful God had our paths cross with hers. She taught us so much about enduring trials with a calm and thankful heart.

  • LeAnna Hoskins Posted March 30, 2021 6:16 PM

    She was a wonderful lady, always had a smile and a pleasant word to share. She will be missed tremendously. Live and prayers to her family.

  • Louise & Travis Arnold Posted March 30, 2021 9:23 PM

    Our sincerest condolences.

  • Audrey Imhoff Posted March 31, 2021 5:00 AM

    I met Dort in wisconsin when she was visiting Dave and Lisa. Her wit and love for life was contagious.
    Not every one comes in your life to stay forever. Only a few enter in such a way that even if they go away tomorrow they leave a mark on your heart that will always stay.

  • Christine Otto Janes Posted April 4, 2021 2:30 PM

    So very sorry for your loss. Keeping you all in our prayers!

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Phone: (501) 982-3400
Fax: (501) 982-3410
2620 West Main Street
Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076