The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

 
 

Oscar Emil Rasmussen

 


Oscar Emil Rasmussen died at home in Anchorage, Alaska on February 5, 2015 at the age of 81. Although he suffered an extended illness prior to his death, he remained independent and determined till the end. He even took a short trip to Arizona in the last few weeks of his life to visit friends and soak up the sun. He was a poet, a writer and a teamster. He had a dry wit, and was always ready for a rousing discussion on politics or the government.

Emil was born August 17, 1933 in Ludington, Michigan and served a short time in the US Navy, receiving an honorable medical discharge. He and a buddy had the adventure of a lifetime when they drove a Hudson from Michigan to Alaska in 1957. He was in love with this great state even before he arrived. Emil had many jobs and adventures throughout the state before he settled in Anchorage, where he met and married Ruthe (Potter) Wiggins on March 3, 1967. Together they raised three beautiful children.

Emil was a life-long trucker and member of the Alaska Teamster's Local #959. At the time of his death, he was one of Local #959's three longest active Teamsters. As he noted more than once, "It's easier to list what I can't drive than what I can!" He was proud of his work on construction of many road jobs within the state and especially enjoyed new construction versus rebuilding existing roads. Emil was an owner in Valdez Redi Mix, which provided much of the concrete for the maintenance of the Alyeska Pipeline terminal tanks.

The family moved to Valdez in 1969 and remained through the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989. Emil gathered together poems he had written over the years and published Twenty Eight Years In Alaska (a few laughs and some poetry). He also wrote two novels: The Man Who Shot Dan McGrew and The Mystery of Sugarfoot Mountain.

Oscar Emil Rasmussen

In 1990, Emil and Ruthe left Valdez to live at Tonsina. They performed extensive work turning raw land into a comfortable home. They remained in Tonsina until 1994, when they relocated due to an illness in the family. Emil is survived by his wife, Ruthe Rasmussen; daughter D. Renee` Rasmussen, of Anchorage; daughter Leslie Vail (fiancée Scott Frank); grandchildren Gabrielle (Nick) Zywot, of Palmer; Rory Vail, of South Carolina; and great-grandchildren Malakai Davis and Isabella Vail, of Palmer. He also leaves behind stepdaughter Lisa Solomon (Jim) Dorroh of California; her children, Kyle (Gina) Stumpf, of Reston, VA; Jamie (Christa) Stumpf, their daughter Hailey; Kelsey Solomon-Dowsey and Christopher Solomon-Dowsey, of California. He leaves behind many beloved nieces and nephews in Alaska, Michigan, Florida, Washington, Nevada, Idaho and California.

He was preceded in death by son, David S. Rasmussen; parents Stanley B. Rasmussen and Helen (Stimson) Rasmussen; siblings Stanley Rasmussen Jr, Kay Dillon, Doreen Ulberg and June Kraiser.

Memorial services are Saturday, February 14, 2015 at Evergreen Memorial Chapel, Anchorage, AK, at 11 am. Burial to follow at Palmer Pioneer Cemetery at 1:30 pm.

Arrangements are with Janssen's Evergreen Memorial Chapel.

 

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