Otto Jouwsma was born to John and Betty Jouwsma on October 2, 1945 in Dedgum, Friesland, the Netherlands. In March, 1953, he and his family boarded a ship in Belgium, headed for a new life in the United States.
Like his older brothers before him, Otto quit school in the eighth grade and went to work. When he was 13, he learned to drive a truck while working on a family friend’s farm. He didn’t care for farming much, always said he didn’t like cows, but he sure enjoyed driving trucks.
Otto became a US citizen in 1961. In 1965, Uncle Sam called him up; Otto was drafted into the US Army. He served during the Vietnam War from 1965–1967, and in the Army Reserve through 1971.
After the Army, Otto drove a cabover Peterbilt for Chino Valley Transport out of California. He hauled everything from almond hulls to beet pulp in the days when the roads were open and fuel was in short supply. In 1978 he relocated to Woodland, Washington and got a job driving for Groat Brothers Trucking delivering wood products to customers in the region. In 1995 he decided a change would do him good so he went to work for Lemmons Trucking. Otto truly enjoyed his job and it showed. His friendly, easy-going nature, along with his driving skill, helped him build camaraderie with customers, some of whom would ask for him when they placed an order. He drove for Lemmons until his retirement in 2015. After retiring, he especially missed his friends at Yard-n-GardenLand.
In retirement Otto enjoyed “loafing” and watching game shows or taking drives around Woodland with his beloved mini schnauzer, Maddy. On December 13, 2021, his family said goodbye to him for the last time. He is much loved and deeply missed.
In accordance with Otto’s wishes, no service will be held. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Melanoma Research Foundation at www.melanoma.org