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

A CP grain car has derailed near Field, causing a power outage. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Train derailment knocks out power in Field

Power is not expected to be restored until tomorrow

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2020 – 10 Year Anniversary Sand Sculpture. (Submitted/CBT)
CBT arts and culture grant program now accepting applications

Apply through the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Alexandra “Annabelle” Lee and her grandpa Bryan Weightman enjoyed a shopping spree at the Sicamous Askew’s foods location after Weightman won a draw for a gift card. (Submitted)
Sicamous seven-year-old fills grandparents’ shopping cart after contest win

When her grandparents won an Askew’s Foods gift card, Alexandra Lee got to handle the shopping

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

A GoFundMe campaign for a display of unity quickly received donations. The initiative, by the Lekhi family of Summerland, began days after their home had been targeted by vandalism and racist graffiti. Discussions are now taking place to determine where an art piece promoting unity will be located. (GoFundMe.com)
Artwork in Summerland to show message of inclusivity

Initiative began following vandalism of Indo-Canadian family’s home in July

Penticton’s Burdock House supportive housing on Winnipeg St. is one of the B.C. Housing buildings the City of Penticton wants audited. (File photo)
City of Penticton seeks audit of BC Housing supportive housing units

BC Housing recently announced plans to construct a new supportive housing unit in the city

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP Superintendent Shawna Baher presents Lisa Rands, of Enderby, a certificate of appreciation after she went above and beyond at the scene of a multi-vehicle collision that closed Highway 97A Jan. 6, 2021, for several hours. (RCMP)
Mounties laud woman for help at fatal crash near Enderby

Vernon RCMP honour Enderby woman for taking care of children involved in collision

Most Read