were saddened to learn that JFK air cargo stalwart and Seaboard World
Airways alumnus Frank Otto died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
Jim Larsen, the old cargo pro who worked
at Seaboard World with Frank and later went on to guide the fortunes
of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey as Cargo Development
Manager, spoke of his dear friend from his home in Southern New Jersey,
where he and wife Annette are retired.
“Frank’s son Francis spoke
to me to tell me his father was not going to last much longer on Tuesday
afternoon, as we were on I-95 heading to the Cape.
“I called him back the next morning
and he told me Frank had passed away.
“I first met Frank at Eastern Airlines
in 1960 and we progressed up the ladder together, first as baggage handlers,
then as shop stewards, then as supervisors.
“I left Eastern and went to work
in Los Angeles for Continental Airlines, but came back a year later
“Frank helped me get into Seaboard
World and again we played leap-frog, moving higher and higher in the
“When Seaboard World folded in 1980,
Frank was Director of Cargo and I was Director of System Traffic.
“We never lost touch and after a
few failed attempts at starting my own business, Frank lured me into
Ogden Allied, based at LaGuardia Airport.
1987 at the ribbon cutting ceremony as Ogden Allied launched third
party cargo handling, were left to right: Bill Birnbach, Mort
Downey, Bob Arens, Frank Otto, Larry Fleischer and Jim Larsen.
“When the position as Cargo Development
Manager opened up at Port Authority, it was Frank who recommended me
to the people that finally hired me.
“As you can see, I really owe my
career to Frank.
“On a personal note, Frank was best
man at my wedding to Annette and his wife Helen (who passed away last
year) was a very good friend of my first wife Mary.
“I can remember the day he announced
he was going to be a father; I was at Francis' christening.
“Friends come and go over the years,
but Frank was always there.
“I loved him, his wife Helen, and
his son Francis as if they were my own family.
“I will miss him and I hope we will
meet again and be as crazy as we were once upon a time.
“I’ve got a million stories,
Geoffrey, about my dear friend Frank, too many for now, but maybe some
time when you can share our 52 years together, I will tell you more.”
Frank’s son Francis, offered this
about his father and namesake:
“My father, Frank W. Otto, died
Tuesday, June 12 after a long and valiant battle against illness.
“He entered into eternal rest as
he had wished, at the home he built, surrounded by his closest, most
cherished relatives and with his partner-in-crime: his dog, "The
Mop," perched on his lap.
“Dad approached this last phase
of his life as he did all of the others, with an enormous amount of
strength and dignity combined with an indomitable will that continued
to amaze his family even through his final days.
“Although his physical presence
will be sorely missed, the manner in which he lived his life will continue
to inspire us always.
“We continue to pray for the repose
of his soul and that he finds eternal rest in the company of my mother.”
Bill Boesch, his friend and former colleague
at SWA told FlyingTypers:
“I knew Frank at Seaboard; he was
in operations and I was in sales.
“Over those years I developed a
respect for him that lasted throughout the years.
“Every time you called Frank for
anything, he was there.
“He was a true friend to many people
and a legend at JFK.
“It is hard to believe this fine
man is gone, but the memories from our great times together will live
within me for the rest of my life.”
Arrangements for Frank:
Flinch & Bruns Funeral Home, 34 Hempstead Ave., Lynbrook, NY, (516)
599-3600. Hours: , Friday June 15, 2-4pm and 7-9pm. RC Mass: Saturday
June 16, 9:45 am, Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church, 65 Wright Ave., Malverne,
NY, (516) 599-1269.