Leo E. Otterbein, longtime Baltimore-area psychologist, dies

Mr. Otterbein and his wife took their "Jukebox Legends" music show to church functions, reunions and weddings.

Leo E. Otterbein, a psychologist who earlier had worked as an educator, died of respiratory failure Friday at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. He was 74.

The son of Frank J. Otterbein, a grain merchant, and Marie Hofstetter Otterbein, a homemaker, Leo Eugene Otterbein was born in Baltimore and raised in Catonsville. He was a grandson of a co-founder of Otterbein's Bakery, which opened in Baltimore in 1881.

After graduating in 1960 from Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington, he received a bachelor's degree in education from what is now Loyola University Maryland in 1964. Two years later, he earned his master's degree in English from Loyola.

Mr. Otterbein taught at Merganthaler Vocational-Technical High School, the Community College of Baltimore, Towson University, Loyola University and Morgan State University.

He earned a doctorate of education from the Johns Hopkins University in 1981. A licensed psychologist, Mr. Otterbein maintained a private practice at Green Spring Station in Lutherville.

He worked with children who had learning disabilities and also focused on linguistics. He was still working at the time of his death.

The longtime Lutherville resident liked working on home improvement projects, playing the drums and baking bread. He also enjoyed genealogy.

He was a music lover and was particularly fond of doo-wop music. During his lifetime he had amassed a collection of more than 6,000 45-rpm records.

Mr. Otterbein and his wife of 49 years, the former Grace Alessi, created "Jukebox Legends," a portable musical show that they took to church functions, sock hops, high school reunions and weddings.

He enjoyed eating breakfast out, going to flea markets and completing The New York Times crossword puzzle.

Mr. Otterbein was an active communicant of St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church, 22 S. Exeter St., Little Italy. Weather permitting, a Mass of Christian burial will be offered there at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Otterbein is survived by two sons, Angelo Otterbein of Monkton and Leo E. Otterbein of Boston; a daughter, Maria Berrettini of Lutherville; a brother, Frank Otterbein of Catonsville; and eight grandchildren.

—Frederick N. Rasmussen

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