IRON RIVER - Father Otto James Sartorelli, 91, of Iron River, passed away Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at the Iron County Medical Care Facility.
He was born May 23, 1922, in Gaastra, the son of Aldebrando and Caroline (Chiarini) Sartorelli. He attended Palatka School in Gaastra, and graduated from Stambaugh High School with the class of 1940. The Salvatorian Seminary at St. Nazianz, Wis., and St. Paul Seminary provided training in theology and philosophy, and he received his Bachelor of Science degree. After seminary studies at St. Paul Seminary he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Marquette on June 3, 1950, at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette by the Most Reverend Thomas L. Noa.
Following ordination, Father Sartorelli began his ministry in the Diocese of Marquette, serving first as associate pastor at St. Peter Cathedral Parish in Marquette for nine years. In January 1952, he became the diocesan director of National Catholic Music Educators, a position he held for 22 years. Father Sartorelli then became an instructor at Bishop Baraga High School. On June 23, 1959, he was appointed administrator of St. Augustine Parish, Republic. In July 1969, Father Sartorelli began a series of pastoral assignments, beginning with St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Calumet for four months, then to Holy Trinity Parish in Birch Creek (Menominee) for two years, then St. Joseph Parish in Lake Linden for six years, and finally to St. John the Baptist Parish in Marquette for two years. In July 1981, he was appointed pastor of St. Cecilia Parish in Caspian, where he remained until his retirement on June 28, 2001. Father Sartorelli remained in Iron River following his retirement.
FATHER OTTO JAMES SARTORELLI
Father Sartorelli loved music, it was his passion. He was known as the "Music Priest." Father Sartorelli was also the former pastor of the Mission of St. Mary, Gaastra; the former Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, Iron River Council 2300; and the former spiritual moderator of the Marquette Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.
Father Sartorelli was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Norina "Lena" (Clyde) LeClair and Natalie "Lillie" (Oliver) Plutchak; and his brothers, Feno (Aurelia), Bruno (Rose), Deno (Jennie), Joseph, Warren, and Emelio (Doris) Sartorelli.
Father Sartorelli is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and very special friends, Frank and Patricia Hartman.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 20, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Wednesday, May 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Caspian.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m., celebrated by Most Reverend John F. Doerfler, Bishop of Marquette.
Interment will be in Stambaugh Cemetery.
Condolences may be expressed to the family of Father Otto James Sartorelli online at www.jacobsfuneralhomeir.com.
Funeral arrangements by the Jacobs Funeral Home of Iron River.