James H. Rasmussen, 1923-2016

Rasmussen, JamesServices were held Thursday, Jan. 14, at Central Christian Church in Jefferson for James Harold Rasmussen, 92, of Jefferson.

Words of comfort were offered by the Rev Sheldon Henderson, pastor of the church. Dan Rasmussen was soloist, accompanied by Rita Olsthoorn.

Casket bearers were Dan, Alex, Chris, Sarah and Kate Rasmussen, Nolley Vereen, Lisa Rasmussen-Ott and Justin Ott. Interment was at the Jefferson Municipal Cemetery with military rites provided by a U.S. Army honor guard.

The family was assisted by Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home of Jefferson.

Jim Rasmussen ended his work on this earth on January 8, 2016. Born on May 29, 1923,  to Danish immigrant Carl Rasmussen and his wife Maude (Howell) in Coon Rapids, IA, Jim attended a one-room school and then graduated from Coon Rapids High School. He was the eldest son in a farm family who all learned the value of family and work during the 1930s Great Depression.

The family moved to Greene County in 1941. Jim entered the military in 1943, serving in the Philippines during World War Two and becoming a staff sergeant in a medical supply unit.

Jim married Hazel Whitver in 1950, and they farmed in Bristol Township in Greene County. They raised three sons: Joe (wife Martha) of Solon, David (wife JoAnn) of Jefferson, and Mark (special friend Rita Olsthoorn) of Jefferson, and were proud to put all three through college.

Jim and Hazel expanded their diversified farming operation through much hard work. As a family farm of that era they had a range of livestock, milk cows, and crops. Jim was an avid cattle feeder for 61 years and served on the Greene County Extension Council, the Cattlemen’s Association, and the beef department of the county fair. He also enjoyed playing cards and talking with anyone. Jim and Hazel were league bowlers and original members of Lakeside golf course. Both served several different positions in their church. He continued farming into his 90s. Retirement was not in his vocabulary.

Jim is survived by his three sons; grandchildren Lisa (Justin Ott) of Nevada, Dan and Kate both of Kansas City, Sarah of Muscatine, Chris of Iowa City, and Alex at the University of Iowa; great-grandchildren Trevor and Carver Ott; brothers L. Dale (Helen) of Omaha and Richard (Shirley) of Lone Rock, WI; sisters-in-law Mignon Rasmussen and Iola Whitver, and brother-in-law Loren (Buck) Whitver; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife Hazel in 2009, his sister Lillian (Virgil) Pedersen, and his brother Norman (Stub) Rasmussen.

Memorials may be directed to Central Christian Church. Jim’s family also expresses its heartfelt thanks to all of the medical personnel who provided care these last few months. Peace.


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