Fern Alfreda Rasmussen, the daughter of George and Margaret (Lindstrom) Petersen, was born on October 23, 1916, in Poplar, Iowa. She was baptized in the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kimballton, Iowa. Fern graduated from Harlan High School, Harlan, Iowa, with the Class of 1934. On August 29, 1936, she married Raymond Christian Rasmussen in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The couple lived in Cuppy’s Grove, Iowa, and later in Center Township.
During 1946, Ray contracted polio, and Fern took care of him; the disease impacted the family for many years. In 1947, Fern and Ray moved to Harlan, where they owned and operated the Harmony Café until 1949. They moved to their Irwin (Iowa) farm in December, 1949, and lived there until Ray’s death on April 8, 1980. Fern went to live on her daughter and son-in-law’s farm near Fiscus, Iowa, and remained there until June, 1992, when she moved to Audubon, Iowa. She had recently become a resident of the Friendship Home in Audubon.
Fern was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Irwin, Iowa. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and caregiver. She loved the farm, as well as spending time cooking, baking pies and cookies, and doing crochet and cross-stitch projects. Fern enjoyed passing the time by reading, playing solitaire, and solving word searches.
Fern A. Rasmussen died in Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at the Manning Regional Health Center in Manning, Iowa, having reached the age of 91 years, 5 months, and 9 days.
Fern was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ray Rasmussen; one brother, George E. Petersen; and one grandson, Aaron Rasmussen. She is survived by one daughter, Judy (Rex) Grabill of Audubon, Iowa; two sons, Robert (Bonne) Rasmussen of Latta, South Carolina, and Jerry Rasmussen (fiancée Pat Klesack) of Bettendorf, Iowa; two sisters-in-law, Mabel Mathiesen of Exira, Iowa, and Gladys Kelly of Centralia, Kansas; ten grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on Friday, April 4, 2008, at the Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa, with Rev. Steven Martens officiating. Casket bearers were Jeff Oakley, Sam Grabill, Keith Grabill, Allen Oakley, Cyrus Monson, Kirk Thygesen, Tyler Thygesen, and Eugene Monson. Burial was in the Jacksonville Cemetery in Jacksonville, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of the arrangements.