Christine E. Rasmusen

Obituary
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Christine Elaine (Hawkins) Rasmussen was born to Harry and Jane (Jacobson) Hawkins in Toledo, Oregon on September 17, 1950. Christine was born into a loving and extended family which included grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and many cousins. Christine was the quintessential middle child finding her own place in the midst of the Baby Boom. Christine's energy and social nature became apparent in childhood. She was a child in constant motion. Her mother had to order new springs for her jumping horse as she wore out the springs with her energetic riding. Christine was very open and friendly, developing many lifelong friendships with school mates. And was she ever a talker! Her early report cards were filled with both good grades and notes about her teacher's efforts to quiet her talking. Those efforts never worked. Christine excelled at Toledo High School and maintained excellent grades. She found her passion in business studies and enjoyed classes in bookkeeping, office management and developing business systems. She was also a cheerleader and served in almost every club the high school offered. Lovely, poised, and always photogenic, Christine loved to appear in photos with family and friends. The high school yearbook photographer said that she seemed to have radar for any and every possible photo opportunity, and noted that, "Christine could be in a photograph before the camera shutter clicked." While in high school Christine met and fell in love with Charles Rasmussen. After graduation in 1968 she and Charles were married. Their daughter Caroline Rasmussen was born of their union in 1970. Though later divorced, Christine and Charles maintained a supportive and positive friendship and parenting relationship that affirmed their love for Carrie. They helped her become the successful young woman she is today. Carrie has worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Hood River Oregon for the last eleven years. Christine moved to Washington State in the 1980s and met her life partner Gary Putnam twenty-three years ago. Christine and Gary made their home in Conway, Washington. Together they purchased a 1920s bungalow and lovingly restored it to house their expansive collection of antiques. True cat lovers, Christine and Gary also shared their home with many adored cats over the years. Their love of gardening produced a showplace filled with the hollyhocks, poppies and the roses Christine loved. Christine's working career spanned five decades from her first job in her family's pharmacy at age fifteen and also included work at Mt. Angel College, the University of Washington, Clean Sound and as the Business Manager of the Bellingham Whatcom County Chamber of Commerce. Her duties there included coordinating many community events and she also led business tours to China, Egypt, India and Ireland. In recent years Christine was recruited by NJ Resources, an internationally recognized firm working in emergency response preparedness in the petroleum industry. She found her work as a Project Manager to be very fulfilling and took the team she worked with around the world. Most recently, her team worked in Brazil and Southeast Asia. Though she was very close to retirement from full-time work, Christine said she would not end her commitment to NJR. Christine was preceded in death by her parents Harry L. Hawkins and Jane Jacobson Hawkins and beloved grandparents. She is survived by Gary Putnam, her partner of twenty-three years, her sisters Hetty Stone and Janet Hawkins (husband Doug Rogers); nieces Ariel Chavarria, Kelly Stone and Toni Stone; and nephew David Stone. Her daughter Carrie Rasmussen lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Chris Hertel. At the time of her sudden passing Christine was just six weeks away from retirement. She and Gary were planning to be on the move and had many trips in the works. Christine has taken her own journey ahead of us all. She will be deeply missed and remembered by both Gary's family and her own. A celebration of Christine E. Rasmussen's life will take place at the Kern Funeral Home in Mount Vernon, Washington on Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 11:00 AM. Christine had a passion for gardening and growing flowers and would love to be surrounded by them at her celebration. In lieu of flowers, please know that her favorite charity was The Columbia Gorge Children's Advocacy Center in Hood River Oregon (contact@cgcac.org). Arrangements are under the care of Kern Funeral Home of Mount Vernon. For those who wish to offer your condolences to Christine's family online can do so at www.kernfuneralhome.com.
Funeral Home
Kern Funeral Home
1122 South 3rd Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 336-2153
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Published in Bellingham Herald on Aug. 8, 2016
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