In Remembrance: Otto D. Trautz ’64 Died on June 4 2020

Otto D. Trautz passed away June 4, 2020, in Burlington, Vermont, from complications related to chronic lymphocytic leukemia. 

Otto was a 50-year public servant for the state of Vermont, serving as the state’s budget director for over 35 years. Most recently, he served as an assistant judge for the Washington County (Vermont) Family Court—a position to which he was appointed by Governor Peter Shumlin in 2016, and to which he was reelected in 2018. 

Otto attended Choate–Rosemary Hall 1955–60, Yale University 1960–64, and Harvard University from 1965–69, where he pursued a doctorate in sociology. It was at Yale that Otto’s interest in social anthropology and his hobby of maintaining classic British sports cars and motorcycles was ignited. His research on parole decision-making brought him to Vermont, where he took a position with the Department of Corrections, and then with the Office of Finance and Management, first as a budget analyst, and then as the state’s budget director. 

Otto devotedly attended Yale reunions, where he enjoyed catching up with old friends and making many new ones. He was particularly moved by Dean Tamar Gendler’s presentation at the 2019 reunion, which resonated with his emergent interest in Stoic philosophy and his lifelong inquiry into the nature of altruism. 

Besides public service, Otto was perpetually engaged with the joys and challenges of maintaining his hilltop homestead in northern Vermont, where he would spend long summer days maintaining the buildings, meadows, and woodland trails, and harrowing winter mornings battling snow drifts and keeping the woodstove going. His love of the land was only surpassed by his love for his family: his late wife Margaret, children Katharine and Nicholas and their spouses, and three delightful grandchildren.

—Submitted by the family.

Post a remembrance