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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Aurelia man authors book, to debut at Hanover Fest

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Aurelia native Paul B. Otto, has authored the book "Berlin to Spirit Mound," with a book signing at the Hanover Historical Society Festival on August 24.

The book is a compilation of the life of Ralph (Jack) Knutson based on his personal journal as well as personal interviews. Knutson served as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 bomber. The journal is a cross section of World War II Army Air Force life from basic training to after the defeat of Japan.

The author became acquainted with Ralph as members of the same church in Vermillion, South Dakota. Ralph shared his personal journal with Otto who after reading it acquired permission to write the book.

Otto was born on a farm west of Hanover. After graduation from the Aurelia Community High School he worked on farms, the Ft. Randall Dam, and served a two-year stint in the Army

Paul later taught high school physics, chemistry, and physical science in three states. He earned a Masters Degree at Texas A and M and a Ph. D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1998 he retired as a Professor Emeritus after 26 years of science education at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. Paul resides with his wife, Kathy, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Two sisters live in the area: Helen Holliday in Storm Lake and Ardelle Staver in Aurelia.