Doris Rasmussen
Doris Rasmussen

Obituary of Doris Rasmussen

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Doris Lillian Rasmussen passed away peacefully at home on January 7, 2023, with family by her side, following a brief illness. Doris was the youngest of six children born to Swedish immigrants, Otto H. Peterson and Hilda M. Peterson (nee Dahl). A Christmas baby, Doris was born on December 25, 1923, in Kerman California. Growing up on her parents’ farm, Doris enjoyed the outdoors, tennis, and horseback riding. She graduated from Kerman High School and attended Fresno State where she became interested in botanical illustration and art. Doris met Harry R. Rasmussen, the love of her life, when they were 3 and 4 years old. Over the years, they met at Scandinavian gatherings held in the Fresno/Kerman area and were married on June 22, 1946. They enjoyed 67 years together even though, as they often joked, Doris was a Swede and Harry was a Dane. Doris’s commitment to her Lutheran faith was a constant in her life. Locally, Doris and her husband were active members of Messiah Lutheran Church in Santa Cruz and later Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos. Following her marriage, Doris became a homemaker and devoted her life to raising the couple’s three children. She was a vibrant, strong, and talented woman; a positive role model for her children and grandchildren who frequently visited her. Doris had many interests, including sewing, arts and crafts and bridge. She helped design and sew church paraments and seasonal banners for Calvary Lutheran Church in Millbrae, enjoyed painting with acrylics and water colors and hosted many bridge parties over the years. Doris also was an active participant in each of the communities she and Harry lived in during his career as a District Manager with the California State Automobile Association. She was honored to serve as a member of the Santa Cruz County Civil Grand Jury and gave her time and support to the March of Dimes, the Heart Association, American Field Service and United Crusade. After raising her children, Doris helped organize the first Head Start School Program in Stockton CA and was its director for several years prior to moving to Aptos in 1974. Following her husband’s heart bypass surgery at Dominican Hospital in 1998, they became supporters of the Dominican Hospital Foundation and joined the local Mended Hearts Chapter providing encouragement to other heart patients. Doris was a lifelong golfer and she and Harry were longtime members and shareholders of Pasatiempo where she served as Captain of the Women’s Club in 1987. After her husband retired, they continued to play golf on courses all over California, Hawaii, and Europe and spent winters golfing in Palm Springs with their “snowbird friends”. They loved entertaining, exploring new places and meeting people. They traveled throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Mexico, Canada, and China in addition to visiting their relatives in Denmark and Sweden. Most of all, Doris loved vacationing in Maui with her husband, children, and grandchildren where they celebrated their 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries. Following her husband’s death in December 2013, Doris enjoyed visiting with friends and family. At 96, she was still active and playing golf (best ball) and on December 25, 2022, she celebrated Christmas and her 99th birthday surrounded by her family. Doris is survived by her daughter, Marjorie Rasmussen, son, Harry Rasmussen II, daughter Janice LaVelle, son-in-law David LaVelle; grandchildren Ryan Rasmussen, Kaeley Betancur (Fabian), Stephanie Rasmussen, Emily Rasmussen, Alison Hudson (Chris), Michael LaVelle, Brooke LaVelle; great grandsons James and Thomas Hudson; niece Walda Lynn Brooks and nephews Dennis Peterson (Judy), Robert Peterson (Carol), Preston Smith (Lois), Orland Smith (Paula), Gordon Herron (Donna); and many great nieces and nephews. Doris was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and aunt. She was an unending source of love and guidance. She is dearly missed, and we shall cherish our memories of her. Friends and family are invited to a celebration of life for Doris that will be held on June 3, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, 10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos, California. A reception at the church will follow. Donations in her honor may be made to: The American Heart Association Dominican Hospital Foundation
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Celebration of Life

11:00 am
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Christ Lutheran Church
10707 Soquel Dr.
Aptos, California, United States
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Doris Rasmussen

In Loving Memory

Doris Rasmussen

1923 - 2023

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