Friday March 13, 1942 Ronald Robert Rasmussen entered into this world at the Sacred Heart General Hospital in Eugene Oregon. Ron was the third of four children born to two loving parents in Nels Robert Rasmussen whose family settled in a little Scandinavian town close to Eugene called Junction City and Lena Parker Frizell Rasmussen whose family settled in the Yamhill Oregon area. His eldest sister Phyllis Ann died shortly after birth, and then came his older sister Frances Marie who loved him dearly and looked out for him. “Ronnie”, as his family and close friends would call him, began life in Eugene Oregon where his father worked as a clerk for Southern Pacific Railroad and his mom worked as a school teacher at the elementary school. He was baptized in the local Lutheran Church, where his mother attended faithfully as it was the denomination of the Rasmussen family at that time. Ron was surrounded by his Danish heritage in the extended Rasmussen family who all lived very close. He recalled many aunts, uncles and cousins with stories, playtime, get togethers and smells of delicious foods cooked in several different kitchens. His love for his aunts Marie, Emma, Helga & Olga brought a smile to his face, and he would speak of his specific love for Aunt Emma. He had great times on the old family farm - hunting, fishing and floating in the old row boat on the slough (slew) at the end of Dane Lane.
The family moved to Portland in 1947 prior to the birth of his sister Carolyn in 1949. They lived in an apartment on Colfax before moving into a home on Wilbur Avenue, where he had his best memories of growing up. Ron’s mom was an integral part of his life. He loved her deeply. He fondly remembered many things that she did for him such as leading his various scout troops, teaching him piano, educating him in various forms of literature and most of all, giving her love unconditionally. Ron, like most kids decided he didn’t care for the piano so he took up trumpet, then the trombone and finally the clarinet. He spoke most about the trumpet. His mom Lena led a strawberry picking crew in the area where it allowed Ron to earn extra money to purchase clothes for school. They spent a lot of time together which Ron loved.
His father Bob was a hard worker and ultimately retired from the railroad some years later with a full pension. Bob was an avid golfer and outdoorsman which became something that Ron worked to emulate. Ron told stories of hitting a golf ball on the green of par 4’s from the tee box. He spoke about making side money through bets on the course. The time he spent on the course provided him many opportunities to make many friends, some of those associations helped to advance in his sales profession. He further enjoyed the time he found with his dad both hunting and fishing. This was truly an area where they bonded
Ron attended Ockley Green Elementary in Portland from 1947-1956. An excerpt from a teacher on his report card read “Ronnie is a true leader on the playground. The other kids just love him as he is always willing to share whatever he has”. This was a characteristic displayed by Ron throughout his life. After Ockley Green, he enrolled into Jefferson High School (Or as he referred to it as, “Jeff”). Ron spoke about the school being in a rough part of town and during his years at Jeff, he experienced some hard times and transferred to Hudson Bay High School for his Junior and Senior years where he graduated in 1961. Directly after graduation Ron enlisted in the Washington State Army National Guard and was assigned to “B” Battery, 2nd Battalion, 146th Artillery in Vancouver, WA and became a forward observer in his battalion, while attending Clarke College and Mount Hood Community College. He was invited to attend Officers Candidate School and while there he and some buddies got into a scuffle with some officers relating to the officers stealing their powder block from their Howitzer then displaying it in the Officer’s Club on the fireplace mantle. Unfortunately, that scuffle ended his career in the military, but he was released with a good conduct discharge in 1967. While he attended high school at Hudson Bay he met and dated Jacqueline Lee Branch. They fell in love and were married a few years later which produced their son Shon Thomas Rasmussen in June of 1964. Ron gave Shon the middle name of Thomas after his best friend in high school, Tom Dixon. Tom was one of Rons very oldest friends and he spoke about him with pride over the years regarding his accomplishments. Ron’s marriage to Jackie ended in 1965, but Ron continued to be a part of his son’s life in so many ways.
Ron loved hot rods! He would talk about his Chevelle, and how he loved another Chevy hot rod he had with a custom paint job. That car almost got ruined right after being painted from the carburetor catching fire as he was driving to pick up Shon’s mom, Jackie from school. To add insult to injury he had to use his best jacket to put the fire out. The famous story though, was that of his GTO where he’d pin a 20 dollar bill to the dashboard and would tell whoever was in the passenger seat if they could grab it while he was going through the gears they could keep it. Ron’s hot rod days came to an abrupt end when he was in a severe accident that nearly took his life in the 60’s. The scars that he carried on his face were a reminder of that accident.
Ron was a salesman for Northwest Drug Company in the 60s and early 70s. He always would tell the story of how he brought in the largest sale in company history for pantyhose. He was proud of that, but it would usually bring a giggle from most who heard it. He sold many other things as well, but enjoyed selling hearing aids. He loved going into the homes of the elderly and became fast friends with most. It became hard though, when hearing of their passings. Ron found himself living in various towns like Vancouver, Eugene, Salem, The Dalles (dals) and then Pendleton Oregon which he loved the most in those years. While living in Pendleton he met one of his very best friends in Tom Billings. The two of them hit it off from the very start when introduced by a common friend, Forest Green. They both have said over the years that they were brothers. Tom mentioned how Ron became quick friends with everyone he came in contact with and he was not hard to like.
Tom Billings ultimately moved to Boise, ID and Ron moved to The Dalles Oregon where things weren’t going so well. Tom invited Ron to come for a visit to Boise. Ron almost instantly fell in love with the area. Not only did he fall in love with Boise, but he met and fell in love with Cindy Reusser (roy-sir). Cindy had three young sons Jon & Joe Aasa and Jason Reusser. Before you knew it they became a family and that family grew by one more on September 16, 1980 when Cindy blessed Ron with his daughter Jaimee Lynn Rasmussen while living on Desert View in Kuna. His favorite pet name for Jaimee was “Shortcake”. During these days Ron became the manager of Meridian Lanes in Meridian Idaho. Ron was a fantastic bowler and bowled in a number of amateur tournaments before getting his Pro Bowlers Association card. His marriage to Cindy later ended, but Ron remained a stabling force in the lives of Jon, Joe & Jason where he always treated them as his own and they called him Pops or Dad. In 1987 he faced the loss of his father while both his mom and dad were living with him on Gori Street in Kuna. This was a hard hit to him and the family.
While raising Jaimee, Ron found another career in 1991 through truck driving. Ron attended the Boise State University Truck Driving School and gained his certificate and CDL to begin his next career adventure. He loved his work all the way up until August of 2016 where it was just getting to be too much. One of the things he valued most in driving were the great people he would meet. One of those he met was another of his other very best friends in Karl Bader (bay-der). Ron and Karl became very close. It was hard to have a conversation with Ron without Karl’s name popping up somewhere. Ron totted premanufactured homes all over the west for ModTranz, Bader Bros., Western and a couple of others. He ended his driving career by hauling mail from Boise to Reno. Dad loved hitting the casinos during that time and would tell stories of his good luck and how he felt that God was looking out for him when the machines would hit. Not sure God had anything to do with it, but Ron wanted to believe as much.
Ron made more memories and friends while living in Kuna than you could count. He loved that little town. He loved those relationships he created. He was never more at home then when he was amongst his friends and family up in the hills, in a boat on a lake fishing or in someone’s backyard having a BBQ. He made so many feel like he was their best friend.
Ron had a love for Jesus Christ. This was instilled in him by a loving mother who gave him the foundation of the work of salvation. She showed him the fruits of a relationship with Christ and how it could bring peace and happiness to him. Ron had his own personal relationship with God and his Son Jesus Christ and as the end drew near he worked to strengthen it.