Andy Otero, 62, died peacefully at his home in Garland Prairie on January 14, 2013. He was a life-long Williams/Parks resident. He was born August 23, 1950 in Williams, Ariz. to Louisa Saavedra and Nicholas H. Otero.
He attended Williams Elementary and Williams High School. At age 17 he dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was in the 101st Airborne Division and served in Vietnam from 1968-1969 as a Parachute Rigger. Commendations and ribbons include: Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal and a Parachutist Badge. He was involved in the TET 69 Counteroffensive Campaign.
He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1970 and moved back to Williams. He attended Northern Arizona University and received his Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1979. He was a substitute teacher for the elementary and high schools in Parks and Williams. He then taught Head Start for 3 years.
One of Andy's passions was working as a jeweler/silversmith. He worked for Silver Mesa Designs and Aldrich Art in Prescott, Ariz. He then opened his own shop, Prairie Wind Crafts, where he was an award-winning silversmith.
Well before "green" and "self-sustainability" were popular, Andy and his wife Linda designed and built an original "off-the-grid" homestead on his property at Garland Prairie. The home utilizes solar and wind power for electricity. You could often hear him say, "I haven't paid a utility bill since 1979!"
In addition he was an organic gardener. He and Linda maintained two organic greenhouses selling their produce to local restaurants and at the farmer's market in Parks under their business name Agave Gardens.
He was a man of many talents and will be greatly missed by all. Andy is survived by wife and soul-mate Linda Otero, daughters Stella Otero (J.P. Walker), Andrea Otero Blattler (Quentin), and Vanessa Shawbell; sons Forrest Adam Otero, Holin (Erin) Shawbell, and John Shawbell (Ashley); sisters Cora Sanchez (Eugene), Mary Jean Chavez, Margie Foreman (Claude); grandchildren Miya Michelena, Megan Blattler, Jack and Eric Shawbell, and Makailyn Gulley.
The family plans on having a memorial for Andy this summer in either Williams or Parks. In lieu of flowers, donation in Andy's name can be made to the Legion Hut in Williams, the Salvation Army or any group that supports U.S. Veterans.