Delbert Max Ottmers Jr.
Delbert Max Ottmers Jr April 30, 1937 February 10, 2023
Delbert Max Ottmers Jr. passed away Friday February 10, 2023, in the house he loved and lived in for 47 years and shared with his wife Dianne.
Delbert had lived The Good Life. He lived a life devoted to his wife Dianne, his family, and in service to Jesus Christ. Later in life, he spent time putting together collections of his thoughts that he called “The Good Life” that he would share with his kids, grandkids, siblings and siblings-in-law. The Good Life to him was serving God, having a positive outlook on life, being thankful for your opportunities, conducting your life with integrity, treating others as you wish to be treated, enjoying and taking pride in your work, and enjoying and providing for your family. In his life, he accomplished all of these.
Delbert was born in San Marcos, Texas on April 30, 1937, and grew up with his father Delbert Sr. and his mother Selma Wuest, his older sister Junette, and younger brother Wilburn. He was close to Junette and Wilburn with Junette often tasked with keeping her younger brothers in line. Later in life, Delbert often spoke about how remarkable it was that they each got married at the same age of 21 years 2 months and they each had 3 daughters and one youngest son.
The Ottmers grew up in a 2-story house on Navarro Street in San Marcos close to what was then known as Southwest Texas State Teachers College. His elementary school was on the college campus and during his teenage years, he would often go down to the college to play the college kids in ping pong. He developed a love of learning and education and sports early in his life. In high school, he played on the 1955 San Marcos High School basketball team that almost won the state championship, losing to Seminole High 50-49 in the State Championship game.
After graduating from San Marcos High School in 1955, Delbert attended Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University). His first year in college he fell in love with Frances Fleming who he had known from school and church and they married on July 4, 1958. While he studied for his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (awarded 1959) and PhD in Chemical Engineering (awarded 1965) at the University of Texas at Austin, making all A’s except for 2 B’s, Delbert and Frances had 3 daughters in quick succession: Laura Lynn in 1959, Carolyn in 1960, and Nancy in 1962.
After being awarded his PhD in 1965, Delbert began working for Humble Oil in Baytown, Texas, then in 1967, he became a Professor in Chemical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1968, while in Nashville, Delbert and Frances celebrated the birth of their fourth child, son Delbert Max Ottmers III, known as Trey.
Delbert wished to be closer to his family in Texas so when his good friend Phil Lowell suggested he come to work for the newly formed engineering firm of Radian in 1969, he was happy to come back to Austin. Delbert became the 13th employee of Radian (he was always proud to be the first employee hired after the founding 12) and his colleagues and he, through their hard work, integrity and innovations, saw Radian Corporation grow to over 3,000 employees and it became one of the largest employers in the City of Austin.
At Radian, Delbert specialized in the field of Flue Gas Desulfurization. He took pride in his work, and he was always grateful that Radian was like a family where he formed many close friendships and enjoyed the many gatherings the company fostered, from Friday afternoon “weisers” to basketball, softball and volleyball games to the annual pig roasts that Delbert held at his house along Lake Travis.
In 1973, Delbert and Frances divorced and in 1975, he married Linda Galloway who he had met while working at Radian. Together with her son Brian DuBose, they moved to a house on Lake Travis. He enjoyed life on the lake and briefly took up sailing, taking Linda and Brian and other family members out on a Sunfish he learned to sail. He enjoyed and knew the importance of taking part in raising Brian and was glad to have the chance to share his love and wisdom with Brian.
In 1986, Delbert and Linda divorced.
In 1986, Delbert had the good fortune to meet his future “honey” Dianne Hoover. He was smitten upon the first sight of Dianne at a church function. He was crestfallen upon discovering that she shared the last name with a pastor, thinking they were married but became overjoyed when he discovered they only shared a last name by happenstance. He fell deeper and deeper in love as he saw her gentleness and sweetness with others and they were married on April 11, 1987. Dianne brought with her a joy and a love of people that had a profound impact on Delbert and his entire family. Delbert often spoke about how fortunate he felt to have met Dianne and to have her love and to enjoy her charm, wit, hospitality, the addition of her family, and her excellent cooking!
In 1994, Delbert left Radian and became a Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He always sought to be engaged with his students and even with class sizes of 60 or more students, he would make sure he would learn the names of all the students in his class because wanted to engage them with questions to better their learning. One of his great joys at the University of Texas was being a student advisor for the Chemical Engineering Department and he continued the tradition of an annual pig roast with his Chemical Engineering students. After many years and hours devoted to his students, Delbert decided to retire in 2004.
His retirement proved to be some of the best years of his life. He was happy to have more time to spend with Dianne and his family and to have many gatherings and family reunions at his house. He enjoyed taking many trips with Dianne and his siblings and their families, traveling multiple times across Europe and the United States and Canada. He was also glad to have more time to devote to his church Hill Country Bible Church and to be of service to others include mentoring boys as part of the Real Life Center and also on his own. And he was happy to witness the accomplishments and charming personalities of his children.
Delbert was always fond of mathematics and chemistry and just figuring things out. This fondness served him well in school and in his career and even in retirement, when he liked to use his analytical mind to perfect his own college football rankings, gather evidence for protesting his property taxes, and to best his opponents in many many games of 42. Even when his memory was fading (“what’s the trump again?”), his mathematical skills and knowledge of odds remained until the end, most often leaving him on the winning side.
Delbert is survived by his wife Dianne Hoover Ottmers; his daughters Laura Ottmers, Carolyn Ottmers, and Nancy Davis and their husbands Jerome Pelitera, Tim Fox, and Joe Davis; his son Trey Ottmers and step-son Brian Du-Bose; his four grandkids Malina Pelitera, Atticus Pelitera, Rachel Davis McCamley and Katie Davis Burleson; his two great grandkids Elliott Sage Burleson and Lewis Paul McCamley; his brothers-in law Morris and Don Hoover, and his sister-in-law Jan Little.
Delbert is preceded in death by his parents Delbert Max Ottmers Jr. and Selma Wuest Ottmers, his sister Junette Micks and her husband Ed Micks, his brother Wilburn Ottmers, his first wife Frances Fleming Burnett and his second wife Linda Galloway Ottmers-Hoffman.
The family would like to express our gratitude to Yolanda, Hester, Mimi, Estela, Ryan, and Dee for the care and affection they provided Delbert and the family. Services will be held at Beck Funeral Home, 1700 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park on Thursday February 16, 2023 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am, with visitation Wednesday evening prior, February 15, 2023 from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm.
Donations in his honor may be directed to: University of Texas at Austin McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering Scholarship Fund. Expressions of sympathy for the Ottmers family may be shared at www. beckchapels.com/obituary/ delbert-ottmers Delbert Ottmers Jr. Delbert Max Ottmers Jr.