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Memorial Service Set for Professor Russ Rasmussen

Published: 6-7-2010 2:55 pm

Russell Lee Rasmussen of Wayne, Neb., died June 5. He was 71 years old. The memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, in Ramsey Theatre on the campus of Wayne State College.

Rasmussen was born to Sydney "Pete" Rasmussen and Clara Halvorson Rasmussen on Sept. 5, 1938, in Allen, Neb. He earned a bachelor of science degree and PhD in chemistry from the University of Nebraska. He spent two years as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, studying in Tubigen and Berlin. He taught chemistry at Wayne State College from 1969 until his retirement in 2001, and taught at Utah State University during sabbatical and summers.

Rasmussen was recognized as an outstanding teacher by his students and by local, state and national groups. He received a Loren Eiseley award for outstanding scientist-humanists as well as the Burlington Northern and the Nebraska Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Awards.

He also received the "Pit Bull Professor" award for his sponsorship of Lambda Delta Lambda, (the science honorary society). He was a member of several academic honorary societies: Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Pi Mu Epsilon and Phi Lambda Upsilon. He enjoyed participating in campus life including judging science fairs and foreign language competitions, attending International Club events, and numerous musical performances. 

Rasmussen devoted as much of his time to extracurricular activities as to work. He was an enthusiastic botanist, an avid collector and a voracious reader in a wide variety of disciplines. He spoke, read and sang loudly in German and taught himself several other languages. He enjoyed traveling and camping with friends and family. He was fond of good food and dinner parties with friends and regularly supervised the cooking.

He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings Thomas, James and Elaine (Rasmussen) Dorrough. He is survived by his wife, Charlene (Shuey) Rasmussen of Wayne; children Eric and Irina (Goloubeva) Rasmussen of Gavle, Sweden, and Claire Rasmussen and James Sellers of Newark, Del.; and siblings Mary Rakow of Bellevue, Wash., Robert and Irma Rasmussen of Lakewood, Calif., Glynn Rasmussen of Vista, Calif., William Rasmussen of Sioux Falls, S. Dak., William and Dee Johnson of Sioux Falls, S. Dak., Richard and Deanna Miller of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Dennis and Jacqueline Rasmussen of Sioux City, Iowa.

Please note: A preference for Memorial Donations in lieu of flowers has been expressed. Memorial Donations will be extended to causes that were important to Rasmussen including: the Statewide Arboretum, the Friends of the Library landscaping fund (Wayne Public Library Foundation is the parent organization), or the Nebraska Humanities Council.


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