Theodore L. Rotto, 1956
Volume 46, Number 1, Fall 2012 (9/01/12)
Theodore L. Rotto, 1956
THEODORE L. “TED” ROTTO of Dallas, Tex., died April 25, 2012, at age 77. (PHOTO) Ted was born Aug. 21, 1934, in Berthold, N.D., to Rev. ISAAC ROTTO ‘25 and Janette Raftshol Rotto. He was the fourth of nine children and grew up in Portland, N.D. He became a Life Scout, and lettered in football, basketball and track for the Portland High School Pirates. During the summer he played baseball for the Junior Legion and loved to tell how he played against Roger Maris... catching one of his flies in left field. Ted attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, as did his father, uncle and all eight brothers and sisters, graduating in 1956 with a degree in Biology-Chemistry. It was in college that he met the love of his life, KATHRYN (HERMANSON) ROTTO ‘57. They married on July 26, 1957, in Glendorado, Minn. He was drafted and served his two years in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, Research and Development, at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver. It was here that Ted developed a love for research and investigative work. In 1959 Ted joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an Investigator. He retired in 1989, after thirty years as the Director of Investigation for the Dallas District, which encompassed Tex., Okla., and Ark. He loved his work and twice received FDA's second highest award: "FDA Commendable Service Award", plus was selected for FDA Executive Development Program in Washington, D.C. in 1969. ROTTO'S MOTTO: WORK HARD, BUT HAVE FUN TOO! After retiring from the FDA, Ted formed a professional consulting business to assist the medical device and pharmaceutical companies to comply to the FDA laws and regulations. He also lectured in seminars all over the country on Good Manufacturing Practices. This he did for twelve years. Ted and Kathy lived in Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Washington D.C., Hideaway, Tucson and spent summers at their cabins in Minn. He was a master at building relationships wherever they lived. He will live on in the hearts of so many of us here today, but also many more around the country. Death ends a life but not a relationship. The dash between 1934-2012 is what we celebrate today! Ted loved to grill, to decorate his home outside at Christmas (if it didn't move, he said he put lights on it!), give pontoon rides around Hideaway Lake and Lake Bemidji, enjoyed his men's morning coffee groups in Bemidji and Tucson; they called themselves "The Liars Club." Ted loved reading his newspaper and magazines, listening to country music, and watching all sports. He was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan and followed their successes from the inception of the team. Ted and Kathy traveled to Norway, Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Costa Rica and all over the United States, plus attended seven Elderhostels. Whenever they moved, they looked for a home in the best school district for their three daughters, then they would seek out a Lutheran Church. On Sundays, Ted and his family went to church and were active members. They never changed their priorities and they loved everywhere they lived. Ted built his daughters a little red playhouse that they could load onto the moving van. It was the first thing to go up in the backyard and the Rotto girls never had to go and find friends, the little red playhouse was the magnet. Ted loved being a Dad and was very active in their upbringing. He coached their softball and basketball teams and spent quality time with them in work projects and playtime. Ted was also a very proud father and grandfather of his three daughters and seven grandsons. The immediate family includes Kristi and Jeff Broekhove of Savoy, Texas, Debra Rotto and Christina Pelletier of San Antonio, Texas, and Diane and Steve Percelay of Clarksville, Tennessee. Grandsons include Daniel and Thomas Broekhove, Matthew and Luke Pelletier-Rotto and Scott, Paul and Michael Percelay. Brothers and sisters/spouses are JOHN ROTTO ’51, and Fern Rotto, IRVIN ROTTO ‘58 and ARDITH (GULBRO) ROTTO ‘58, CHRISTINE (ROTTO) HEFTE ‘53 and DICK HEFTE ‘53, CURT ROTTO ‘60 and ANN (KNUTSON) ROTTO ‘61, CAMMY ROTTO-MORGAN ‘61, RUTH (ROTTO) LYNGAAS ‘58, JONETTE (ROTTO) MARTINSON ’69, and LUTHER ROTTO ‘71 and Judy Rotto. Ted's in-laws/spouses include SHELDON HERMANSON ’52 and RENEE (AUST) HERMANSON ’54, and Ramona Muller. There are twenty-eight nieces and nephews as well. Ted was a member of Heritage Club and President’s Council at Luther College. The Rotto Family Scholarship was established at the college in 1992.