Daniel Rasar, age 80, of Samish Island, died June 24, 2013 in Bellingham after a long illness with cancer. He was born September 26, 1932 in Mount Vernon to Daniel and Goldie Rasar, becoming a 3rd generation Rasar, after his grandfather Peter moved to Skagit County in 1898 from Tennessee.
He grew up on Sunset Rd. in Bow with siblings Lois, Richard, Rollie, all now deceased. He has one brother William (Pat) in Anacortes.
He went to Burlington-Edison High School, was a star athlete in basketball, football and track and graduated in 1951.
His first marriage to Beverly Miller was in 1953 and produced two sons, Jeffrey and Kevin. He went into the army and served for two years in Seward, Alaska with the Alaska Communications System. Thus began his fascination with Alaska, which also was nurtured by his commercial fishing experiences on fishing boats during this high school and college years. He always referred to Alaska as "the Motherland".
Dan went to college at Western Washington and worked at Northern State Hospital at the same time. He taught grade school and Jr. High school until he got involved with his first Shakey's Pizza Parlor in Tacoma. Along with a partner, they developed 25 parlors from Auburn to Fairbanks in the mid 60's to 1985, as well as real estate businesses.
In 1979, he married Ann, his loving partner of 35 years in Anchorage, AK. Together they raised her son Jonathan, and in 1986 they adopted Julie, their daughter. They lived in Bow and Redmond.
Dan considered himself a lucky person, being in the right place at the right time in business dealings and felt very blessed in his lifetime. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing and hiking in his younger years. Later on, traveling, spending time at Lake Chelan, wintering in Queen Valley, AZ, and an avid supporter of the Seahawks from day one, when Shakey's had coupons on the football tickets. His favorite saying was "Go Hawks", and he especially loved this last season when the Hawks did so well. He also loved going to coffee with the "boys" at the Farm to Market Bakery in Edison. He loved Samish Island, watching the water, passing boats, local birds and eagles, clamming on the beach and going crabbing on his boat in the summer. He always had a dog, mostly chocolate Labs, and he loved working with them and hunting on his duck farm in Edison.
At Dan's request, there will be no formal funeral. In August there will be a celebration of his life for his family and friends. He will be cremated and wishes his ashes to be scattered over Samish Bay and his dog and cat cemetery.
He is survived by his wife Ann; sons, Jeff (Karen) and Kevin (Cheryl); step-son, Jonathan and Brandy; daughter, Julie (Michael) Felan; grandchildren, Nicholas Rasar, Brianna and Emme Felan. He also leaves numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, brother, Bill (Pat), and many friends.
In 1986, Dan donated 128 prime acres on the Skagit River near Hamilton to the Washington State Parks. It took 10 years to fund and build the park which is now known as the Rasar State Park, which was dedicated July 12, 1997 and has been enjoyed by thousands of people since. It is a beautiful tribute to the Rasar pioneers and families and one of the most popular parks in Western Washington.
He also donated the property in Edison where the Edison Fire Station now sits.
Dan will be missed for his wonderful sense of humor, twinkle in his eye, and generosity to the many people, especially young people he helped financially along the way with their schooling or their various endeavors.
In lieu of flowers or memorials, Dan was a huge believer of "paying it forward", helping people out when they needed it, especially those who were hard workers! Nothing would give him greater pleasure if people would continue to do that in his memory.
We miss you Dan, but glad you can now rest in peace.
Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on June 28, 2013