Vernon Search and Rescue is mourning the loss of Jon Ottesen, a member for more than 45 years who died suddenly Jan. 2, 2021. (VSAR photo)

‘An extraordinary man’: Vernon Search and Rescue mourns loss

Jon Ottesen, a VSAR member for more than 45 years, died suddenly on Jan. 2, 2021

The Vernon Search and Rescue Society is in mourning after the sudden death of a member who dedicated more than 45 years of his life to keeping his community safe, no matter the time or the place.

“It is with deep sadness and heartache Vernon SAR mourns the loss of one of our members, Jon Ottesen,” VSAR said in a post on its Facebook page Friday.

“His passing has suspended reality for all of us. It was way too soon, and words cannot describe how we feel at the loss of our friend.”

Ottesen passed away on Jan. 2. He’d worn many hats for VSAR, serving as manager, team leader, swiftwater and boat team member, ATV team member and much more. He spent many years on VSAR’s board of directors, helping to guide the direction of the vital crew.

“He was our champion and helped steer the course of the team for many years,” VSAR said. “In his quiet, kind, and thoughtful way, he never complained but set an example.”

At the end of the day, when all in the area were safe and accounted for, he went home and was a father, friend and mentor to many.

“Jon loved his family. They were his pride and joy and he spoke of them often and their many achievements. He loved the water, his ATVs, driving backroads and exploring. Jon loved. He made the world a brighter and better place. He was an extraordinary man.”

Heartfelt condolences have been pouring in on social media from members of the Vernon community and well beyond. The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association was among the organizations that offered condolences to Ottesen’s friends and family.

The public is asked to respect the family’s privacy during this time.

READ MORE: Snowboarder dies in Whistler after plunging off cliff

READ MORE: Kelowna grandmother dies in skiing incident at Big White


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

DeathSearch and Rescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Vernon Search and Rescue is mourning the loss of Jon Ottesen, a member for more than 45 years who died suddenly Jan. 2, 2021. (VSAR photo)

Just Posted

The facility in Summerland has 112 long-term care beds. Interior Health funds 75 of the beds. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Six more months for temporary Summerland Seniors Village adminstrator

The temporary administrator was appointed following site visits and concerns from Interior Health

Real estate sales in the South Okanagan grew by more than any other part of the province in 2020. (Marissa Tiel - Black Press)
South Okanagan fastest growing real estate market in B.C.

There was over $1 billion in residential sales in 2020

The municipality of Summerland is considering a 1.65 per cent property tax increase for 2021. The increase is lower than tax increases in previous years. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland taxes expected to rise by 1.65%

Increases also forecast for Summerland utility rates

One Okanagan man bought and delivered enough food for 10 Christmas dinners for families and individuals in need. (Bruce Shouldice photo)
Okanagan man makes a difference at Christmas

Columnist Carole Fawcett shines light on Good Samaritan

The Peach is looking ready for its COVID Christmas. (Monique Tamminga/Black Press)
T’was the night before Christmas in the Okanagan

It’s true that this year has had sadness aplenty, we’ll never forget the year 2020

Brett Forsythe battles it out in a game of singles pickleball on ice at Okanagan Training Rink Thursday, Jan. 7 in support of the Vernon Food Bank. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Pickleball play hits the ice in Okanagan

Rivals battle it out in support of the food bank

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media/FILE)
Vehicle found abandoned after fleeing Kelowna RCMP, avoiding spike belt

Police believed at the time vehicle was tied to alleged shooting in West Kelowna

West Kelowna RCMP are investigating reports of gunfire in the 1700-block of Ross Road. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating reports of gunfire

West Kelowna RCMP said the incident occurred on Jan. 14

Penticton’s 7-Eleven is closed due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19, the company announced Jan. 15, 2021. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton 7-Eleven closed after employee tests positive for COVID-19

The store will re-open “on or before” Jan. 23

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

With a second case of COVID-19 confirmed at South Canoe Elementary, parents were advised Thursday, Jan. 14, that the school could be closed for a week or so. (Contributed)
Closure considered after four cases of COVID-19 identified at Salmon Arm school

South Canoe Elementary principal grateful for concern and support shown by public

Deb White, carnival chairwoman, rode in on style Saturday during the parade. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Pandemic postpones parade, heart of Vernon Winter Carnival

Interior Health says no to one of B.C.’s only winter parades

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project is on track, despite COVID-19 and the recent provincial election. (Government of BC photo)
1 month closure planned for Highway 1 near Golden

This closure is expected from April 12 until May 14. Others are planned in the future.

Most Read