Marty Ott

Martin (Marty) Charter Ott, a dedicated husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather and veteran, passed away on April 23, 2023, at the age of 75. He was born on May 28th, 1947, in Panguitch, Utah, to Faye Palmer Ott and McCune Charter Ott.

Marty attended Utah State University before marrying his loving wife, Ilene Anderson, on January 3rd, 1970. Together they raised two children, Matthew Charter Ott and Lee Ann Ott Grundy, and were blessed with two grandchildren, Carson Ott Grundy and Addison MaeLynn Grundy.

Marty proudly served his country as a veteran of the Vietnam War, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery and service. After the war, he began a long and distinguished career with the National Park Service, serving at many national parks throughout his career, including Fire Island National Seashore, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Theodore Roosevelt NP, Olympic NP, Big Bend NP, Capitol Reef NP, Wind Cave NP, Utah State Coordinator for the Utah National Parks and Zion NP. He also served as the Deputy Director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources. Martin’s dedication to his work and bravery earned him the Carnegie Medal and the Park Service Valor award.

Marty’s last assignment before retirement was with the Bureau of Land Management as the state director for the state of Montana and the Dakotas. He worked tirelessly throughout his career to preserve and protect America’s natural treasures, leaving a legacy that will endure for generations to come.

In retirement, Marty enjoyed exploring the beautiful surroundings of his home in Kanab, Utah, riding horses and motorcycle touring. He was also an avid animal lover, and he cherished his Black Lab, Ally, who preceded him in death, as well as the other dogs he had throughout his life.

Marty was preceded in death by his parents, McCune and Faye Ott, and his brother, Gary W Ott. He is survived by his wife, Ilene, his children, Matthew Charter Ott (Cindy Morris-Ott) and Lee Ann Grundy (Cody Grundy), his grandchildren, Carson Ott Grundy (Raven), Addison MaeLynn Grundy, his great-grandchildren, Clancey Lee Grundy and McCuen Bown Grundy and his sisters Kathy Chamberlain (Brent Chamberlain) and Kristine Williams (Danny Williams).

Martin’s love for his family was evident in everything he did, and he cherished his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and his memory will be treasured by all those who knew him.

Martin’s dedication to his country and his lifelong commitment to preserving America’s natural beauty will never be forgotten. His family and friends will miss him dearly, but they take comfort in knowing that his legacy will live on through his work and his loved ones.

Services will be held at the LDS church in Tropic, Utah on April 29th. The viewing will be held at 10 am with the service at 12 pm.  Interment will be held at the Georgetown cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Lewy Body Dementia Association.  Services were arranged with Mosdell Mortuary of Kanab.



  1. Hugh C Thompson April 24, 2023 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    My hero and friend!

  2. Don Falvey April 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    What a great photo of Marty!
    That was taken at the superintendent’s office at Zion where he served in that capacity after I retired in 2000.
    Prior to his assuming that position he served as the Utah State Coordinator where he was instrumental in forging a relationship between the national park service and various other folks such as members of congress and their staff, county commissioners and other elected officials as well as other governmental groups at state and federal agencies such as the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. His manner of engaging others really made a difference in how we could all work together to accomplish common goals even though there were differences that had to be overcome. Somehow he pulled it off.
    Marty also served as the auctioneer at our annual superintendent’s meetings when park managers from the Rocky Mountain Region would gather for a time together to discuss NPS programs and coordinate activities as outlined by the regional director. All attendees looked forward to this fund-raising event which benefited the NPS Employee and Alumni Association.
    Marty was a dear friend and companion who shared in our mutual desire to serve the public and preserve the national treasures that were entrusted to our care.
    I’ll miss you, old buddy…
    Don Falvey
    Zion National Park Superintendent 1991-2000.

  3. Robert Dunnagan April 25, 2023 at 1:08 am - Reply

    Ohhhh Marty! We will miss you dear friend. 🌈

  4. Karen Heet April 25, 2023 at 2:08 am - Reply

    Marty, Marty, Marty, such a kind and wonderful man! I only met him after his dementia, but his loving spirit still came out, and when you’d ask him about his park service past, he would just light up. My heart goes out to Ilene and family.

  5. Ruben Castillo April 25, 2023 at 2:13 am - Reply

    Our condolences to Mr.Otts family. We were at Big Bend where I met Mr. Otts, if I remember correctly he was the Chief Ranger there. He was a very professional and friendly guy. I always thought a lot of him. I worked maintenance and was involved with structural fire where Mr. Otts was one of our instructors. I knew he would move up in the Park Service, but he surpassed to even more. May he RIP.

  6. Luis Gonzales April 25, 2023 at 2:43 am - Reply

    Asta la vista amigo!

  7. Bill Lamb April 25, 2023 at 2:49 am - Reply

    Marty and I were great friends. We traveled together and enjoyed his spirit and stories. Marty’s career with the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management is one of a kind. His ideas and changes in management had benefits that are still being appreciated and used today. A good friend that I will see again someday.

  8. Rob Arnberger April 25, 2023 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    We ran the streets of the National Park Service with one another…and had a blast! We will still tell the stories amigo!

  9. Karen Putnam April 25, 2023 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Ilene and family. That is a very nice tribute to a great man that was taken way to soon. I always looked forward to our visits when I was in Kanab he had a very interesting way of looking at different situations, he always had a great sense of humor and always a gentleman;.

  10. Butch Farabee April 25, 2023 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Marty was one of “the Good Guys” He will be missed. My sincerest condolences to his family.

  11. Dan Huff April 25, 2023 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Very sad to read of Marty’s departure. All too soon! He was one of very few to have such a widespread, multi-agency, multi-level successful career in public service. Our paths crossed on multiple occasions with projects at Delaware Water Gap, Capitol Reef, Theodore Roosevelt, Wind Cave, and Zion. I’ll always remember that engaging smile and CAN DO attitude. His training at Utah State and cultural connections made him invaluable at his several Utah assignments. He’ll be thoroughly missed by many but especially, I’m sure, those fellow NPS retirees in the Kanab area.

  12. Linda Alvey April 25, 2023 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Thank you Marty for trusting me to take care of your last horse Hurley. I will always give her the best life possible. Rest in peace my friend.

  13. Sherry Foot April 25, 2023 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    Fond memories of Marty. With deepest condolences!

  14. Viola Hillman April 25, 2023 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry Matthew and family. I am so glad I got to meet your dad. He was a very nice man. May you be comforted during this difficult time. Sending love.

  15. Bart Fitzgerald April 26, 2023 at 12:07 am - Reply

    I just had a rush of great memories of Marty with NPS & BLM in Utah & Montana. He was a great man for All Seasons. His leadership and management skills were some of the best I’ve ever experienced in the public and private sectors. He was always finding humor in many situations! Ilene, I feel so bad for your loss. You took such great care of him these last few years! I always loved visiting you guys in Kanab, you offered pleasant conversations and rustic surroundings,

    My kind regards! Bart and Diane Fitzgerald

  16. Jim Bellamy April 26, 2023 at 4:03 am - Reply

    Adios Amigo! You were a great mentor and friend. It was a pleasure sharing all of those adventures with you at Big Bend, and many stories throughout the years. To Ilene, Matt, Lee and family, I am very sorry for your loss and you have my deepest sympathy.

  17. Jennifer, Marc, Catherine and Max Schaerer April 26, 2023 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    We always leaned in as he meandered through the memories, his chuckle as he delivered a favorite punchline or the anticipatory twinkle in his eye keeping our rapt attention. He very cleverly planned his pathway into the next grand tale and we were with him every proverbial step of the way.

    A lot of our conversation involved Zion National Park. Although these days it’s basically our backyard…we hike it, bike it, and drive it frequently…he was the Superintendent there when we visited frequently from up north before moving to Kanab and meeting him. He connected many dots for us with the details he so willingly shared. Our time with him as a next door neighbor was too short; we had only been here two years before his health began to fail and they moved a few hours away to be closer to their family.

    Marty was an extraordinary and award-earning example of military and civil service, and his passion to serve our country and its citizens is a legacy he leaves for generations to come. We’ll continue to honor him as we enjoy each visit to a National Park by letting the sun shine on our face, the wind blow in our hair, or our breath catch a little as we take in the view.

  18. Jeff Bradybaugh April 27, 2023 at 1:00 am - Reply

    What to say about one of the finest gentlemen I have come across… Marty was a great friend and a tremendous mentor to many of us that followed in his footsteps in public service. Through so many of us, Marty’s spirit of care for our public lands will be carried forward for generations. What a legacy, sir! I will never forget our top-down trip through the Zion Narrows, buffalo round-ups in the northern plains parks and other adventures!! We’ll miss his smile, laugh and camaraderie! Thank you Marty!! Ilene and family, we share your sadness and keep you in our prayers.

    • Jennifer Powell May 10, 2023 at 11:22 pm - Reply

      You can rest assured that my Dad (Bob Powell) and Marty are together somewhere well in mind, body and spirit. I loved hearing stories from my Dad about the antics of “Cook and Ott” at TRNP.
      Hope you are doing well Jeff. My cat Dot and I are in Rapid City still battling my MS. After Mom passed, Robin and her husband moved to Tennessee. I have one son in Mitchell, SD. Luckily, my son Peyton stayed close (Sturgis) and works in concrete. Peyton, who called Dad “Pa” and Mom “Mema” takes pretty good care of me and my many “conditions.”

      Sorry for reaching out to you under these sad conditions. I’m on Facebook (Jen Powell) and Instagram (jenniferlynnepowell). I would love to hear from you.

  19. Phil Brueck April 27, 2023 at 2:52 am - Reply

    He was a good friend with a wonderful sense of humor. Quite politically astute which served both him and the NPS well throughout his career. I’ll miss you, my friend. Would love l to attend your memorial service but a recent shoulder replacement prevents that. May the Lord’s choicest blessing be upon all of the family ❤️❤️

  20. Patricia L Fesler April 28, 2023 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    My sincerest condolences to the family. I worked with Marty at Zion. He was a great man and I am glad to have had the pleasure to know and work with him. A man I had great respect for. Rest in peace Marty. Give your Mom a big hug for me.

  21. Vincent L. Santucci May 3, 2023 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Marty thanks for your mentoring and support to our staff at Fossil Butte National Monument during your tenure as the NPS Utah State Coordinator. Although FOBU was a small park in Wyoming (not Utah), you looked out for us with the same care as you did the big Utah parks. Thanks for your service!

  22. Benn Pikyavit May 4, 2023 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Going to miss you. Honors.

  23. Diane Holmes May 8, 2023 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Ilene, I just saw Marty’s obituary. I am so sad to read of his death. What a wonderful husband and father he was here on earth and what a wonderful life you two have had together. I know he will be waiting for you and your children on the other side of the veil. I will say a prayer for you and your children in receiving peace that he is in a better place. Love ya! Bruce sends his love too.

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