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Craig Kotte

Feb. 22, 1949-Oct. 12, 2007

Craig L. Kotte, 58, also known as "Commander," "Mud Duck," "Mud Hen," "The Great White Hunter," "Craigery," "Owl Mystic No. 950" and "Gentle Giant," died Friday, October 12, 2007 in Meritcare Hospital ICU, Fargo, after suffering a brief illness. He was encircled by his family, friends and Pastor Wade at the time of his death.

Craig Lewis Kotte was born to Clarence and Thelma (Johnson) Kotte on Feb. 22, 1949. He graduated from Moorhead Public Schools. He then attended Moorhead State College from 1967-73, majoring in botany and industrial education. Craig sang as a first chair bass in the college choir.

During this time Craig also enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps (1969-70) and served in Viet Nam as a field artillery battery man, in active combat. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Action Service Medal, Rifle Marksman Expert Medal with RVN Cross of Gallantry. Craig was honorably discharged and returned to Moorhead State College, where he became a member of Owl Fraternity Mystic No. 950.

Being an avid bicyclist, Craig proudly owned a Peugeot 10-speed, imported from France. For a short time, he became a bicycle mechanic. Craig later attained his master plumber's license, and with his wife, has owned and operated Kotte's Plumbing and Heating for over 30 years.

On Dec. 19, 1981, Craig married Sandra McDonald. Together they raised a daughter, Kathryn and a son, Clark in their rural Pelican Rapids home. The new love of Craig's life was Kathryn's son, Harrison Craig Kotte, born Aug. 31, 2007. Craig's other loves included his family, his dogs -- King, Kodiak and Chaucer -- fishing and hunting buddies, his many "social hour friends," red Dodge trucks, his garage (Sandy called it his "playpen"), his many toys, and of course, Juggler Lake.

Surviving Craig are his wife, Sandy; daughter, Kathryn; son, Clark; grandson; brother, Clarence (Karen) Kotte; sister, Colleen (Tom) Houglum; sister-in-law, Penny Kotte; and "boatloads" of nieces, nephews and extended family members.

Craig was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Thelma Kotte; brother, Charles W. Kotte; nephew Peter Kotte; and father-in-law, Roald "Lindy" McDonald.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Zion Lutheran Church, 24876 Franklin Lake Road, Pelican Rapids.

Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, was entrusted with arrangements. An online guestbook and video tribute are available at