William James Ott


Beloved brother and friend, William James Ott, passed away Sunday, February 25, after a brief illness.

Bill was born in Dallas, on April 12, 1955, to Dr. William and Mary Brennan Ott. He was the third of 10 children. Bill attended elementary school at Christ the King Catholic School and graduated in 1973 from Kilgore High School. While attending KHS, he was a National Merit Finalist and earned the distinction of academic scholar. He was a three-sport athlete, excelling in football, basketball and baseball.

During his sophomore and junior years, Bill played on Kilgore High’s baseball team and competed twice in the State Finals. At a young age, he became an accomplished sailor, finishing in the top three of all but one regatta throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi over a three-year period.

Upon high school graduation, he was one of only 12 students invited to an intense six weeks course in nuclear physics at Baylor University. He attended Kilgore College and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 with a degree in Journalism.

Though already suffering from a serious neurological disorder, he was able to complete his collegiate studies and briefly held a career in journalism and broadcasting.He was affected by this disorder for his entire adult life, but maintained his kind and loving spirit, and sense of humor. Bill remained an avid reader with interests in sciences, history, news, politics, and The University of Texas sports programs.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Dr. William and Mary Ott; sister, Dr. Liz Jodry Gatons, and sister, Mary Kathleen, who died in infancy.

Survivors include his siblings, Jane Lane and her husband Mark of Liberty City, Trisha Irving of Tyler, Laura Nivin and her husband Steve of San Antonio, Lynn Heye and her husband John of Frisco, Jim Ott and his wife Debbie of Kilgore, Kathryn Toon and her husband Steve of Kilgore, John Ott of Kilgore, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and other loving family members.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness@namitexas.org.

Services for William James Ott, 62 of Kilgore will be 3 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the Chapel of Rader Funeral Home in Kilgore with Very Rev. Father John Gomez officiating. Family will receive friends immediately following the service at Rader Funeral Home in Kilgore. Burial will followat Kilgore Cemetery

Please leave online condolences at www.raderfuneralhome.com