Rasmus "Rass" P. Rasmussen, May 23, 1927 to Jan. 21, 2013, called from his labors by his Creator, laid down his working tools and entered his home of eternal rest on Jan. 21, 2013. He was surrounded by loving family and friends, and died at his home in Terrebonne, Ore., as he lived -- quietly, softly, without fanfare, but leaving an indelible mark on those he touched and an example of life for others to emulate.
He was born in Galva, Iowa, on May 23, 1927 to Rasmus P. and Anna S. Rasmussen, who preceded him in death. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during WW II, graduating in abstentia from Everly High School in Everly, Iowa, and was stationed in China and other parts of the Pacific Theater. Following his honorable discharge from the Marines, he lived and worked in Idaho for a time, where he met and married Barbara Heeren in 1949 (who preceded him in death in 1980). They lived and farmed in Fostoria for a time and later moved to Hoffman, Minn., where they farmed for a number of years. Following a short stay in Hayward, Calif., they returned to the farm in Hoffman. In 1969, Rass packed up his family and moved to Lebanon, Ore. Rass was employed at Hamilton Creek School as custodian until his retirement. Rass married Doris Beckley, (who preceded him in death in 2011) in 1987 and after living in Albany, Ore., for a time, they bought a home outside of Terrebonne, Ore., where he resided until his death.
Rass was a Master Mason for nearly 25 years and was a Life Member of East Linn Lodge No. 44, AF&AM, Lebanon, Ore., serving as Tyler and in other various capacities in that lodge. He was a member of Eastern Star-Marguerite Chapter No. 60 of Lebanon, Ore. He was a life-long member of the Lutheran Church, a Life Member of the American Legion and was a Past Commander of Hoffman Post No. 393.
Rass was largely self-taught in many areas of life. He was widely known by many as one who could fix most anything, and who could conceive, fabricate, and build most anything he set his mind to do. He thoroughly enjoyed challenging tasks and took great pleasure in showing others how his creations worked. Rass was proud of being a certified John Deere mechanic. He also enjoyed farming and all things agricultural. He was an avid gardener, an excellent cook who made a world-class apple pie, a carpenter, an upholsterer, and enjoyed many other hobbies too numerous to list. He enjoyed the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman.
Above all that, Rass was a devoted husband and father who enjoyed being with his family. He especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and his many great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his sister, Wilhelmine "Willie" Taylor of Spencer; four children: Jerry (Natalie) Rasmussen, of Wisconsin, Phyllis (Steve) Bergamini, of California, Dale Rasmussen, of Washington, and Diane (Ron) Harrell, of Michigan; four step-children: Cindy (Nat) Palmer, Scott DenHerder, Robert (Dana) DenHerder, and Randy DenHerder -- all from Oregon; his beloved grandchildren: Jerry, Kendall, Genna, Megan, Ryan, Jessica, Shawn, Sean, Ryan, Garret, Kelsey, Dakota, Bryndl, Heather, Justin and Whitney; numerous great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and sister-in-law, Plenetta Heeren.
He will be missed by his many friends.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Rass Rasmussen is planned later this spring. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that a memorial be made in his name to Partners in Care (Redmond, Ore.) or to the Redmond, Oregon, Senior Center Meals-on-Wheels program. (Memorials can be mailed to P. O. Box 2056, Terrebonne, OR 97760)