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Howard E. Rasmussen

1920 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
HOWARD E. RASMUSSEN Howard E. Rasmussen, of Quail Valley, CA, passed away peacefully on June 10, 2015, one month after celebrating his 95th birthday with his family and friends. He was born on May 10, 1920 in Howard, South Dakota to Millie and Jens Rasmussen, immigrants from Norway and Denmark. He was proud of his Scandinavian heritage and instilled that strong pride in his children as well. He was the only male of seven children and their father died when Howard was nine, so he became the man of the house at an early age. Consequently, he and his sisters remained very close throughout his life. At the age of 17 he joined the Navy to see the world. He was stationed on 11 different ships that cruised to many domestic and foreign ports across the globe. He loved to travel, being on the sea and serving his country. That love eventually developed into over 20 years of military service in the Navy as a Chief Mess Management Specialist. In 1944 Howard was on leave from his ship and met the love of his life, Betty Fennel. In just seven months from the day they met they were married in Norfolk, Virginia and made their home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Betty was from. After the war was over Howard got out of the Navy and worked at a Foundry as a Millwright in Milwaukee. In 1954 the family moved to Sun Valley, California where he worked at Lockheed Aircraft. They raised four children. The three oldest were born in Milwaukee and the youngest was born in Sun Valley, CA. Two of Howard's sisters and their families lived nearby and they spent lots of time together. Holidays were special times when aunts, uncles and cousins gathered to celebrate with scrumptious feasts. For many years Howard and his wife attended the Annual Ship's Reunion of the USS San Francisco, the first ship he was stationed on. Shipmates and their spouses got together each year in a different state and reminisced, swapped sailor stories and caught up on the latest with old friends. In 1961 Howard was called back into the Navy and was stationed in San Diego where all four children graduated from high school. He was also stationed in Bremerton, Washington and Orlando, Florida. They ended up back in San Diego where Howard retired and he and Betty moved to Quail Valley, California in 1979. They truly enjoyed their retirement years. They traveled regularly to Alaska in their motorhome to visit their children and explore the beautiful state they loved so much. At one point all four children lived in Alaska. The two oldest still enjoy living in Alaska. They also made many trips back to South Dakota and Wisconsin to visit their families and old friends. Family was most important to Howard. He lived life to the fullest, content with simple pleasures like chatting with family and friends. He was a kind and gentle man, with a great sense of humor and strong values that included integrity and respect for others. Visiting with his friends at the Senior Center, VFW and American Legion and breakfast with friends after Church on Sundays meant so much to him. He was a long-time member of the Moose, VFW, American Legion, Masons, Shriners, Dakota Club, Northwest Coachers Camper Club and served on the Faith Lutheran Church Council. Howard was preceded in death by his parents Millie and Jens Rasmussen; his step-father, Robert Adams; his wife of 58 years, Betty Rasmussen (2002); sisters, Genevieve Rasmussen, Dorothy Brown, Alveda Kain, and Jenny Anderson. He is survived by his four children, Steven (Phyllis) Rasmussen, Juneau, Alaska, Sandra (Glenn) Wade, Ketchikan, Alaska, Dennis and Sue Rasmussen, Quail Valley, California; Grandchildren, Rachael Rasmussen, Bellingham, Washington, Bonnie (Chad) Ritchie, Wrangell, Alaska, Weston (Becca)Wade, Missoula, Montana; Great Grandchildren, Jayden Rasmussen, Bella and Ryder Ritchie and Ella Jean Wade; Sisters, Edna Darby, Sun City and Delores Brooks, Las Vegas and many nieces and nephews. Memorial Services will be held at Faith Lutheran Church, Sun City on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, viewing at 10:00 am and Service at 11:00 am with luncheon to follow. A Graveside Service with Military Honors will be held at the Riverside National Cemetery, on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 9:30 am. "What seems to us a sunset is a sunrise in another place." EVANS BROWN MORTUARY (951) 679-1114 www.evans-brownmortuary.com/obituaries

Published in Press-Enterprise on June 21, 2015
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