Cy was born on a farm east of Le Mars on April 22, 1920, the son of Edward B. and Mary B. (Langel) Ortmann. He grew up in the Le Mars area and graduated from St. Joseph's Catholic High School in 1938. He then attended Trinity College in Sioux City and St. Louis University. Cy served his country during World War II from December 1942 to December 1945. Before returning home, he studied at the University of Nancy in France. On Jan. 4, 1950, he married Rose Mary Braun at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alton. He finished his degree at Westmar College while farming west of Le Mars.
In 1963 Cy moved his family to a farm east of Merrill and then began his banking career. He was employed at the First National Bank in Le Mars, serving mainly as vice president of ag loans and farm management. For three summers he attended the University of Wisconsin School of Banking and graduated in 1967.
Cy was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, the Knights of Columbus, Trinity Council #1466, and the American Legion, Wasmer Post #241.
Cy valued integrity and education. He found joy and accomplishment in farming, gardening and writing.
Survivors include his wife Rose Mary; eight children, Mary Ortmann and her husband Dave Eckels of Ankeny, Ed Ortmann and his wife Cathy of Le Mars, Ray Ortmann and his wife Wendy of Madrid, Martha Drake and her husband Bob of Pueblo, Colo., Chuck Ortmann of Sheldon, Anita Mautz and her husband Tom of Ankeny, Elaine Schmitz and her husband Jim of Le Mars, and Walt Ortmann and his wife Jill of Saline, Mich. He enjoyed watching his 16 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. He is also survived by four sisters, Sister Eleanor Ann Ortmann, S.C.C. of Wilmette, Ill., Joan Thommes and her husband Bill of Omaha, Neb., Ethel Homan and her husband Paul of Remsen, and Sister Alice Mary Ortmann, S.C.C. of Wilmette, Ill.; and a brother Jim Ortmann and his wife Gretch of Le Mars.
His sister, Mrs. Clarence (Irene) Buetel died in 1983. Her death, and a serious aneurism in 1982 prompted him to start writing a book on his family history before dates and incidents became too sketchy. He put his heart and soul into this project which he had published in 1988. Two supplemental editions followed. In the summer of 1984 he began the first annual family reunion with his children. Due to his declining health, he was unable to attend the most recent reunion.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. Kevin Richter officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars with military honors provided by the American Legion, Wasmer Post #241. Visitation at the Feuerstein Funeral Home will be after 3 p.m. Thursday, where there will be a parish rosary at 4 p.m., a parish wake service at 7 p.m., and a Knights of Columbus rosary at 8 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Gehlen Catholic Schools or the New Church Building Fund.