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Otavio Rodrigues Lima ’76

November 10, 2018, in Olympia, Washington, of multiple myeloma.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Orbelia Carvalho Ramos and Otacilio Rodrigues Lima, Otavio moved to Oakland, California, at the age of 10 when his mother married Donald Robinson, an architect who had worked for Kaiser Engineers International in Brazil. After the family relocated to London, Otavio attended the Leysin American School in Switzerland and won its top prize at graduation.

Otavio earned a bachelor of arts in philosophy and religion at Reed, where he wrote his thesis, “Kierkegaard: Critical Questions and Speculations on Authority and the Social Role of a Christian,” with Prof. William Peck [philosophy 1961–2002] advising. He continued his education in Massachusetts, first at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and then at Andover Newton Seminary to study more pastoral counseling. After receiving his masters of divinity degree, he was ordained as pastor of the North Street Congregational Church in West Medford, Massachusetts. He later served as the Protestant chaplain of the Fernald State School in Waltham, Massachusetts, and as an associate pastor at the Sudbury Presbyterian Church in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Otavio had a child, Kathryn Ruth (Katie), born in 1985, with his former wife, Kristine Roop Champagne, the sister-in-law of his Reed College classmate, Mark Roop-Kharasch ’75.

In the early 2000s, Otavio relocated to Olympia, Washington, where he retired.  He was an active member of the Mountain View Church of the Nazarene in Tumwater, Washington, a welcoming place that he enjoyed very much.

Otavio never lost his love of rousing, challenging, Reed-style discussions of many topics, but especially philosophy, religion, and comparing various cultures. He loved music, including opera, and was fond of pointing out that in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, it was Don Ottavio who was the good guy. He loved singing in his rich bass voice. The pitch could falter at times, but the enthusiasm was constant.

One of the defining characteristics of Otavio’s life was his Christian faith, which began at a Presbyterian camp while he was in high school. His journals were filled with prayers asking God to strengthen him and thanking God for his grace.

In his final years, Otavio’s health slowly declined. In November 2018, after a fall, he was admitted to a hospital, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and died, all within the space of eight days.

He is survived by his daughter, Katie; his mother, Orbelia; and his stepsiblings, Linda Robinson, Kenneth Robinson, and Teresa Robinson Luttenberger. —Contributed by Kristine Champagne and Katie Rodrigues Lima.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2019

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