Otto Bauer-Nilsen passed away suddenly at Cypress Cove, a retirement community in Fort Myers, Florida on the evening of January 14, 2020 at the age of 93.
Otto was born on July 10, 1926 in Haugesund, Norway to August and Louise Bauer-Nilsen, now deceased. He was raised in Haugesund where his father co-owned Bauer Hydraulics, a shipping industry hydraulics manufacturer with his two brothers. Otto was a Sargent in the Norwegian underground army during the Nazi occupation and was in charge of Nazi prisoners of war after the surrender.
After World War II, at the age of 19, Otto immigrated to the USA to study architecture at the University of Cincinnati. Otto lived with his cousin Dorthea Peterson whose parents had immigrated to the USA at the turn of the century. Otto graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1950 and returned to Norway where he got a job with the City of Stavanger in the City Planning Department.
On December 10, 1950 Otto married Kari Aune-Iversen. Son Fredrick was born in Stavanger late that summer. The family soon moved back to Cincinnati where Otto took a teaching job at the University of Cincinnati School of Architecture and daughter Elizabeth was born in early 1953. The family then moved to Cleveland, Ohio where Otto took a job in an architectural firm and son August was born in the summer of 1955. The family moved again to Birmingham, Alabama where Otto took a job with a real estate development firm and Otto, Jr. was born in early 1957.
The family moved one last time back to Cincinnati, Ohio where Otto returned to the University of Cincinnati and soon co-founded the architectural firm of Gartner, Burdick and Bauer-Nilsen in 1958. The family first lived in the neighborhood of Hyde Park and then moved to the Village of Indian Hill in 1961. The architectural firm thrived in the 60s, 70s and 80s where Otto received over twenty-five design excellence awards from the American Institute of Architects.
Otto and Kari bought a 125 acre farm in Pike County, Ohio in 1970 as a second home and working farm. The farm remains in the family. Otto religiously returned to Cincinnati to be with family at Christmas and to the Pike County Farm for the annual family picnic on Memorial Day.
Otto split with Gartner, Burdick and Bauer-Nilsen in 1984 started a second firm, Englehard / Bauer-Nilsen until his retirement in 1993.
Otto & Kari moved from Indian Hill and split time between the Pike County Farm and a new house in Cape Coral, Florida. Soon after Kari died in 2004, Otto moved to Cypress Cove a retirement community in Fort Myers, Florida where he was active in the art, model sail boating, water aerobics and bocce ball programs.
Otto was a board member of the Village of Indian Hill Planning commission for over 30 years, a board member and master juror for the State Board of Architects of Ohio for over 25 years, a board member of the National Architectural Accrediting Board, a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and a member of the American Institute of Architects. Otto was a prolific artist, sculptor and musician.
Otto was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Kari Bauer-Nilsen in 2004; as well as a son, August Bauer-Nilsen in 2014. Otto is survived by three children: Fredrick Bauer-Nilsen (Jeanne) of Cincinnati, OH, Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders (Randall) of Columbus, OH, Otto Bauer-Nilsen, Jr. (Janet) of Cincinnati, OH as well as eight grandchildren: Adam Sanders (Alane), Andrew Bauer-Nilsen (Marcella), Maxwell Bauer-Nilsen, Sarah Bauer-Nilsen, Bobby Bauer-Nilsen, Emma Sanders Hoster (Barret), Kristine Bauer-Nilsen, Olivia Bauer-Nilsen and three great grandchildren: Owen Sanders, Brady Bauer-Nilsen and Leah Sanders.
No formal services are planned at this time.
Memorial contributions in memory of Otto Bauer-Nilsen, Sr. are suggested to doctorswithoutborders.org (Doctors Without Borders USA, PO Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030).
Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fort Myers, is entrusted with final care.