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Anna Rasmuson

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Anna Rasmuson Obituary
Anna Elaine Fonnesbeck Rasmuson
1917 ~ 2013
Elaine Rasmuson has died, stilling the voice of a consummate conversationalist and ending the flow of newsy, handwritten letters she has mailed to family and friends for most of her 95 years.
Reared in a Danish household in Logan, she was the youngest of J.C. and Anna Fonnesbeck's five children. Upon graduation from Utah State University in 1939, she was hired by Snow College as a librarian and teacher. It was there she met Roger Rasmuson. They eloped to Reno just before he joined the Navy in 1941, and by the time World War II ended, the couple had sojourned in San Francisco, Boston, Washington and San Diego.
They settled in Salt Lake City where she worked in various libraries, including the University of Utah's, for more than 20 years. Her avocation was gardening and she was a mainstay of the Neighborhood Garden Club. Besides cultivating extensive flower gardens, she had a backyard greenhouse in which every plant had its own narrative.
She was widowed in 1981.
She loved coffee, buttery pastry, letters of any kind, PBS and Scrabble, which she played into the wee hours with anyone willing. She read at least one newspaper a day-sometimes four-but she followed the Jazz and the Bees religiously on the radio. She hated spiders, avoided doctors and coped stoically with hardship. Her memory for genealogical minutiae was without equal: she had the uncanny ability to keep tabs on countless relatives and their offspring, young and old, far and near, once- and twice- removed, and to remember their birthdays.
Selflessness was her defining quality and it contributed to her artistry in conversation. The interests of others were always uppermost, so she listened encouragingly while others talked. That was the way she lived her life. She was a good friend to countless people over the years and generous by nature. She leaves a debt of gratitude to Bob and Barbara Czapla and to Annette Fonnesbeck Torres and Nancy Rasmuson, women who share her instinct for selfless service.
Both of her sons married. John and Nancy (Brock) have two sons, Jason and Zachary; Mark and Laurel (Elmer) have a son, Elliot, and a daughter, Chloe. Elaine has five great-grandchildren, and she enjoyed a grandmother's relationship with her niece's family, the Torres.
To celebrate a life well lived, friends and relatives are invited to the Orangerie at Red Butte Garden on August 22. Danish pastry precedes the event at 10am.
Instead of sending flowers, please follow Elaine's good example and plant some in your garden and write a letter to someone dear.

Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Aug. 18 to Aug. 19, 2013
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