Otto Liebergesell

August 20, 1925 - January 24, 2021

It is that little dash where an entire life is lived. The start of an incredible life began with his birth in Osnabrück, Germany, 1925. He had wonderful memories of spending time on his grandparents’ farm raising chickens, growing up with cousins and three brothers. At 17, he was drafted into the army and sent to Pas de Calais to dig tank ditches. He saw the planes of the Allied forces fly overhead by the thousands to Normandy. Captured by the American forces, he was eventually sent as a POW to Ft. Benning, Georgia. There he was put in charge of raising carrier pigeons and raised show turkeys for the commanding staff. One of his favorite memories as a POW was smoking a 10-cent cigar, eating Georgia peaches, and watching the southern sunsets. He developed a fondness for Coca-Cola and Ritz crackers. With his charm and winning personality, he made friends with the American command staff and was offered sponsorship to the United States at the end of the war WWII. After his repatriation to Germany, he went to visit and thank the young lady who had sent him care packages during the war. Romance followed and he married his war-time sweetheart, Elisabeth Stiensmeier in her birthplace, Paderborn, Germany. His positive experiences at Ft. Benning convinced him to accept sponsorship to Utah, and he took a position at Holy Cross Hospital where he stayed employed for 42 years. As a plant engineer, he worked his way up to supervisor of all maintenance. Developing and maintaining the gardens was his favorite part of the job especially conserving and perpetuating the rose garden established by the Rose Garden Society of Salt Lake City. Otto founded the Holy Cross Hospital Employees Federal Credit Union which he successfully directed as treasurer for 44 years. In retirement, he continued to take delight in gardening but reading and politics were his greatest interests as well as collecting the fine art of the Diné peoples. His body aged, but his intellect and wit remained keen to the end. He passed peacefully due to natural causes on Sunday January 24, 2021. He is survived by his son Michael, daughters Monika and Magdalen, granddaughter Tashi, and his special little buddies Panda Bear and Buster whom he loved to spoil with all kinds of treats. His brothers, Paul and Hans and numerous nieces and nephews in Germany survive him. He is preceded in death by Elisabeth and his brother Rolf. We will miss his wonderful sense of humor, his wealth of stories and, of course, the barbequed turkeys. 

The Liebergesell Family is incredibly grateful to Suncrest Home Health and Hospice (especially Hannah, Marjena, and Amber), Dr. Beth Hanlon, and Dr. Lisa Stout. Our deepest gratitude to our close friends Jenny, Karla, and Allan. Our profound thanks to our brother, Mike, for 25 years of ongoing caretaking and companionship.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Friday, February 5, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City. For those unable to attend, the service will be lived streamed and can be viewed by returning to this page and clicking the "Watch Service Now" button that will appear moments prior to the service beginning.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the following charities: Holy Cross Charity of Utah, Habitat for Humanity, Utah Humane Society, and Utah Food Bank.