Ms. Jean Ott, longtime Ascension Church parishioner and longtime Ascension School teacher, died on Feb. 20, 2016. She was in her 80s.
“Miss Ott,” as she was always called, attended Ascension School from 1935 to 1943.
During the 1950s, she recalled in a Wednesday Journal interview for the “Ascension Century” (which ran on May 29, 2012), the Cold War and Russia’s launch of the Sputnik satellite brought much attention to science programs in local schools. When Ascension wanted to beef up its science program, Ott’s sister, Miriam, volunteered her to help the cause, thinking Ott’s degree in biology and chemistry would be helpful. She began teaching science to the seventh grade in 1959.
“I had no books and no equipment,” Ott recalled, “but somehow managed to do the work, so I was asked to return to teach that same class the next year. I learned more from those two years than I could have learned from a master’s degree in education. This sold me on a future of teaching.”
Miss Ott taught at Ascension until retiring in 1994, after 35 years of service. She continued to volunteer as a tutor at the school for 10 more years.
After retirement, she lived in the same apartment on Clarence Avenue, just north of the school and regularly attended Mass at Ascension.
The Ascension School family remembered Jean Ott at a school Mass on March 1, at 9:30 a.m.
Her family has made private arrangements for her remains.
A memorial service is also being planned.