Howard Otero Profile Photo
1942 Howard 2024

Howard Otero

December 22, 1942 — February 27, 2024

Twin Falls

Joe D. “Howard” Otero passed away in the early hours of February 27, 2024, at his home of natural causes.

Howard was born on December 22, 1942, in Fruita, Colorado, where he spent most of his childhood.
 He enjoyed exploring Hunter Canyon and roaming the local area with his brothers and friends, free of adult supervision. Howard cherished his mother and was known by his four brothers to be the Mama’s boy of the family.

Howard moved to Idaho during his early teen years to work in the fields alongside his brothers and father.  He met Gerrine Keim at the Red & White Drive In in Twin Falls where she worked as a car hop and he was a customer.  Howard and Gerrine quickly grew inseparable and married in 1961. They were still together nearly 60 years later at the time of Gerrine’s passing.

Early on, Howard worked at Layne & Bowler Pump and then started delivering fuel for Joe Clements Oil and later Don Peiper.  With a leap of faith and a small loan from a kindly banker (Willard Reese, whose name he never forgot), he ventured out on his own in 1971, incorporating Otero Oil, now in business for 53 years – not too shabby for a guy with a 7th grade education!  He often reminisced about his first day in business.  He and Steve, who was only nine years old at the time, were out delivering fuel well past dark on a cold night and Gerrine met them along the way with some hot soup.  He was thrilled. He left instructions to include here a sincere thanks to his many loyal customers over the years that allowed him to provide for his family.

Howard enjoyed hunting and fishing. The family spent many wonderful weekends in Stanley, Idaho, riding, fishing, exploring, and just enjoying the natural beauty with friends.  In his 50s and at the urging of his good buddy Mike, he picked up a guitar and learned some chords.  He enjoyed playing music and eventually began writing his own songs, which brought him and his family great joy.

Howard was a family man.  He was supportive of and involved with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We will all carry with us many special memories of our own unique relationships with him. Steve, Brian and Michael can all say that they played on the Otero Oil little league teams, and Wendy can say the same for her softball years. Howard enjoyed building pinewood derby cars (winners, by the way!) with his grandsons and many weekly Sunday afternoons with his great granddaughters, flying kites, making up goofy songs and riddles and just being silly. As much as Howard enjoyed his family, his most content moments were those with Gerrine by his side, with or without the rest of us. Those two could turn any activity into their own adventure.

Howard is survived by his son Steve Otero (and Heather), daughter Wendy Schwertfeger (and Gary), grandson Brian Schwertfeger, grandson Michael Otero (and Kelsey), great granddaughters Parker and Lily Schwertfeger, brother Robert Otero, and numerous nieces and nephews. Although his health was failing in recent months, he was looking forward to welcoming a third great granddaughter in April.

Howard was preceded in death by his wife Gerrine, parents Ambrose Otero and Adela (Della) Marez Otero, and his brothers Fred Otero, Leroy Otero and Pete Otero.  At his request, no services are planned. Family interment will be conducted at Twin Falls Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Howard Otero, please visit our flower store.


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