Bernard J. F. "Bernie" Otterson

  • Born: March 26, 1935
  • Died: September 9, 2019
  • Location: Bedford, New Hampshire

Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium - Hanover Street

243 Hanover Street
Manchester, NH 03104
Tel. (603) 625-5777

Tribute & Message From The Family

Bernard J. F. "Bernie" Otterson, 84, of Bedford, died peacefully on September 9, 2019, after a long battle with prostate cancer. Originally from Massachusetts, he lived in Bedford, New Hampshire for nearly 50 years. A graduate of UMass Amherst, he earned an M.Ed. from Bridgewater State, and later a CAGS from Lesley University. He was also proud to have served in the US Army Reserve/National Guard.

Bernie worked in a variety of roles throughout his professional career, with computers and education woven throughout as core themes. Highlights include several years spent as the Registrar and Director of the Computer Center of New England College, and 12 years on the instructional team at Digital Equipment Corporation. He also taught at the college level, and in 1993 was honored to receive the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development's Teaching Award, as well as a commendation from the governor, for "his outstanding contributions to teaching and learning."

Anyone who met Bernie was drawn in by his warmth and genuine interest. He loved meeting people and learning about them as individuals, never forgetting a name or a face, and was able to recall details years after an initial meeting. He enjoyed many opportunities to travel, and his adventures included trips to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scandinavia, Netherlands, Iceland, Mexico, Bahamas, Virgin islands, and Canada, as well as many parts of the US, and his outgoing nature allowed him to easily meet people and make many friends. He loved the ocean, and enjoyed sailing the coast of Maine and Casco Bay, and was also a former member of the Massabesic Yacht Club. More than anything, he enjoyed spending time with family and friends.

Members of his family include Marilyn, his loving wife of 59 years; his children Linda L'Heureux, of Amherst, NH, Jeffrey Otterson and wife Danielle, of Marietta, GA, and Marjorie Otterson, of Framingham, MA; his sister, Eleanor DeCourcy, of Buzzards Bay, MA; nieces Carolyn and Diane; granddaughter Natalie; and his beloved and devoted beagles, Hodges and Jenny.

The family would like to extend special thanks to Manchester VNA Hospice for their attentiveness, compassion, and care.

There are no calling hours. A service will be held on September 19 in Middleborough, MA. Please contact a family member if you would like to attend.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to The Jimmy Fund/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to support cancer research and patient care: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via

Condolence & Memory Journal

Lin and family--I am so very sorry for your loss. I never met Bernie but he sounds like a wonderful person, and I see Lin, that you have carried many of his personal traits and interests forward. Sending you warm hugs, prayers and peace.

Posted by Sonya - Raleigh, NC - Friend   September 19, 2019

How sad to lose such a wonderful caring, loving person with such a delightful personality. His sense of humor made it always fun to enjoy time with him. He loved his family, friends, dogs and cats and lived a full and wonderful life. He will live on in the hearts and minds of those who were fortunate enough to have know him.

Posted by Merry Cushing - Amherst, MA   September 19, 2019

Lin and family-we are so sorry for your loss. I only met your dad when I was little but I remember him as a kind and gentle man. We are sending our deepest condolences and love and support.
Nancy, Linda and Streudel

Posted by Nancy C. Faria - Tucson, AZ - Friend   September 18, 2019

Marilyn and family, I am so sorry to hear of Bernie's passing. His heartfelt and sweet persona was a pleasure to banter with at our reunions. He will be missed.

Posted by Jennifer Thurber - Manchester, CT   September 18, 2019

Such a great loss to mankind. "May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace..."

Posted by Susanne Stretch - Bedford, NH - Friend   September 17, 2019

Lin we are so sorry to learn about your Dad's passing. No matter your age, it is so difficult to lose a parent. Our prayers for strength are with you at this most difficult time for you. -Heidi & Christopher

Posted by Heidi von Goetz Cogean - Wolfeboro, NH - Friend   September 17, 2019

Our thoughts are with you you . We are sorry to hear of his passing. Wonderful person always had a smile.

Posted by Mike & Francine Demers - Bedford, NH - Neighbor   September 17, 2019

Family Album