Fr. Otto passed away due to several health complications in Hope Health Hulitar Hospice, in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 25, 2022. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 1, 2022 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Leigh, Nebraska with Fr. Steve Emanuel celebrating. Burial will take place in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery with lunch following in the church social hall. Visitation will be on Sunday, from 4 until 5 p.m. with a parish rosary recited at 5 p.m. Memorials can be directed towards the Columban Fathers or the Leigh Legacy Fund. Svoboda Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Fr. Otto’s family would like to offer a sincere thank you to Columban fathers for all of their care and assistance as well as thank the doctors and nurses at Rhode Island Hospital and the Hospice House. A special thank you to Pam Serbst and Ann Leary at the Bristol Home and their time with Fr. Otto.
Fr. Otto Imholte was born on January 3, 1937 in Leigh, NE. His parents were Urban J. and Frieda A. Wullschleger Imholte. His elementary and high school education were in Leigh.
His Seminary formation with the Columbans began with Spiritual Year in September 1957 in Bristol, RI. The following year he entered the Columban major seminary in Milton, MA. In September 1960 he continued his studies at the Columban seminary at Dalgan Park, Navan, Ireland. He returned to Milton in September 1963 and was ordained on December 21, 1963, at the Major Seminary Chapel by Richard Cardinal Cushing.
In September 1964 he joined the teaching staff at the Columban Minor Seminary in Silver Creek, NY. Starting in July 1966 he began to attend Villanova University where he received a Master’s degree in Mathematics. In July 1967 he returned to Silver Creek as Dean and a member of the house coun0il. In May 1968 was appointed Socius for Spiritual Year at Bristol.
In July 1970 he was assigned to Fiji where he served at the parish in Varoka, Ba. In June 1974 he returned to the U.S. on vacation a little ahead of time because of the serious illness of his mother. He worked in South Sioux City at St. Michael’s Parish until May 1975. He then returned to Fiji. He was the Principal of Corpus Christi Teachers Training College in Suva from 1977-1978.In June 1984 he was named Regional Bursar in Fiji. The next January Fr. Otto was appointed to Xavier College along with his other duties as regional bursar and member in charge of local applicants.
In 1985 he returned to the United States and began working as a chaplain in a hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. He was appointed Assistant Regional Bursar effective in September 1987. In March 1989 he became the Regional Bursar. Fr. Otto was praised for his years of service as Regional Bursar for his efficiency in computerizing that office and for his help to other regions.
In September 1997 Fr. Otto began a sabbatical (which included a trip to the Holy Land) at the Chicago Theological Union and resided at the Drexel formation house. In September 1998 Fr. Otto became bursar at the new Columban International Theologate in Chicago.
In April 2001 Fr. Otto took on the responsibility of Bursar General resident in Ireland. He served in that position with praise for his expertise and dedication during two administrations until Fr. Paul Oxley took over.
After returning to the United States he took up residence at the regional house in St. Columbans. There he coordinated the mission appeals program. He also assisted the Regional Bursar Dan Eminger with some tasks. During this time he had to deal with serious health issues. In October 2019 worsening conditions led to his going to seek further care with the Columbans in Bristol, Rhode Island.
No matter where Fr. Otto was stationed, he was a Nebraska Cornhusker fan through and through. He was always able to come up with the latest scores and stay up to date.
He is survived by his sister Eileen (Frank) Paulus, sister-in-law Alice Imholte, many nieces and nephews, and many Columban brothers.
Fr. Otto is preceded in death by his parents, brother Urban P. Imholte and sister Noreen (O’Del) Marchant.