April 12, 1931–Oct. 17, 2023


Anita Magdelene (Staiger) Ottema passed away at the Weston County Health Services on Oct. 17, 2023.


Anita was born in Glen Ullin, North Dakota, on April 12, 1931. She was the daughter of Christian and Magdelene (Heupel) Staiger. Anita attended country school, grades first through eighth outside of Glen Ullin. She then graduated high school in 1950. She went on to graduate from Dickinson University in Dickinson, North Dakota, with a teaching degree. She taught for two years in a country school, south of Mandan, North Dakota. Knowing that teaching was not what she wanted to do, she took a job in Mandan, working at a Ben Franklin store. While there, she met Don on a blind date. They dated for two years, then married on Oct. 2, 1954. Later, Duke and Barney were born in Bismarck, North Dakota, before they moved to Newcastle in August of 1957.


Over the years, Anita worked at the Antler Café and Sioux Café for eight years. She enjoyed working for Howard Sternberg, with many good, funny memories. In 1969, Anita started work at the Safeway store where she worked for 22 years, retiring in 1991.


Anita enjoyed bowling, Bunco, and spending time visiting with family and friends. Anita and Don enjoyed watching Duke and Barney compete in sports, especially wrestling. They very seldom missed a match. She also loved going to the senior citizens building for coffee and cinnamon rolls with her friends.


Anita is survived by her sons, Duke (DeAnn) and Barney (Tina) Ottema, all of Newcastle; granddaughters, Dawn Ottema, Heather (Josh) Ottema, Amanda (Jimmy) Mercer, Diane (Ty) Christensen; grandson Duane (Lindsey Ottema); great-grandchildren, Cameah Stevens, Troy and Brady Christensen, Aiden, Avery, and Ashlyn Ottema; step-grandson, Troy (Cassie) Casey; step-granddaughter, Cassie (Tudor) Barac-Matei; step-great-grandchildren, Devon Hendrickson, Isabel and Caleb Casey and Aglaia Barac-Matei.


She is preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Don, her parents, and four brothers and two sisters.


A memorial service will be held Monday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m. at Meridian Mortuary in Newcastle. Burial to follow at Greenwood Cemetery, followed by a gathering at Weston County Senior Services, Michael’s Room, for family and friends. Condolences may be sent to the family in care of Meridian Mortuary, 111 S. Railway Ave., Newcastle, Wyoming 82701, or expressions of sympathy may also be made online at Services will be live-streamed.


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