Marlin James Rasmussen, 89, moved to Heaven from the Memorial Hospital in Aurora, NE on April 17, 2019.
Celebration of Life Service is planned for April 29, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the Pleasant View Bible Church in Aurora. Pastor Bob Gannon will officiate. Rev. Eldon Elsberry and Dr. Bob Crane will also participate. Burial will be at the Aurora Cemetery at 9:00 a.m. prior to the service. Public visitation is Sunday, April 28 (4-6 p.m.) at Higby-McQuiston Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Rio Grande Bible Ministries, International Evangel Heralds, Inc. (Duane & Marilyn Gibson), Pleasant View Bible Church or the Gideons International. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com
OBITUARY: MARLIN RASMUSSEN
Marlin was born July 27, 1929, the second oldest of six children and the first son of James and Rose (Elsberry) Rasmussen near Brunswick, NE, in the house on land homesteaded by his grandparents.
As a ten-year old boy he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at an evangelistic meeting at the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in Brunswick.
The family later moved to Holt County. At the age of 16 he graduated in the class of 1946 from Chambers, NE High School. He worked for area farmers and on a dam construction crew in SD for a year after high school.
He was a student for four years and graduated from Prairie Bible Institute (PBI) in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada. Because he was a student at PBI when he had to register with the military, he was given a ministerial deferment. His response was, “I didn’t know I was going to be a minister!” After PBI he and his college friend worked for America Inland Mission (AIM) in northwest AR for a year.
Marlin served as interim pastor for a group that met at the Ballagh Country School near Burwell, NE. While there he started corresponding with Mildred, a former PBI classmate who was then working at AIM. Their courtship and engagement were with 3-cent stamps, courtesy of the United States Postal Service.
Marlin and Mildred (Whistler) were married on August 15, 1952 at Blairsburg, IA. They returned together to work at AIM near Gravette, AR until 1955. There they helped with summer Bible camps, Sunday Schools and during the school years taught weekly Bible clubs in the area’s public schools.
They were blessed with four children: Judith, James, Janel and Jerald.
In 1956 the Sunday School group in Springdale, AR decided to become a church. Marlin helped them organize and build and then was the pastor for seven years at what is still the Peaceful Valley Bible Church.
July, 1963 found them moving to Wayland, IA where he pastored the Independent Bible Church for seven years.
They moved to Aurora, NE to pastor the Pleasant View Bible Church in March of 1971. In 1976 they resigned from that pastorate to join Rio Grande Bible Institute (RGBI) in Edinburg, TX as traveling representatives. They moved out of the parsonage in Aurora to the Nebraska Christian School (NC) girls’ dorm where Mildred was dorm parent. Marlin spent weeks traveling for RGBI sharing its missionary ministry with churches and anyone who would listen.
In 1977 when their youngest son graduated from NC, they purchased a small house in Marquette, NE.
They enjoyed traveling together representing RGBI. Each spring they had a musical ensemble of three to seven Spanish-speaking students from the Bible Institute traveling with them. It was interesting in the earlier years when the students spoke no English and the Rasmussens spoke no Spanish. A special close bond developed between them. Rasmussens loved and cared for them as their own. The students called them Grandpa and Grandma. Some of the students are still in contact with the Rasmussens.
Marlin and Mildred spent the winter months in the Rio Grande Valley on the RGBI campus. They helped out with projects at the school. They took teams of winter volunteers to help build churches in Mexico with Duane and Marilyn Gibson. Marlin also was the pastor for two different Winter Texan RV parks in the area.
In September, 1999 Mildred lost her battle with cancer and went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in Heaven.
In October, 1999 Marlin moved into the house they had purchased in Aurora. He continued to travel, representing RGBI.
July 6, 2000 Marlin married Lonna (Vasek) in Harrison, AR. They had known each other for many years as the Vaseks also had worked with RGBI since 1976. Her husband had gone to be with the Lord in 1995.
Marlin and Lonna continued in the RGBI representative role for eight years. They enjoyed singing duets. They spent the winters at RGBI scheduling the spring trips for the music team (seven meetings per week for six weeks). They also took groups for one-week working trips into Mexico. Marlin continued pasturing at two RV parks.
The winter of 2007-2008 Marlin was the chaplain for Bibleville at Alamo, TX. It is a division of RGBI which hosts Bible conferences and gospel concerts January-March.
November, 2008 Marlin started on a cancer journey with radiation, surgery and chemo therapy. Rasmussens traveling days were finished and their status changed to retired RGBI staff.
He spent much time in his last years reading his Bible and praying for his family, pastors, missionary friends and many others. Marlin loved the Lord, Whom he served for over 70 years. He had a burden and prayed for each one of his relatives to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
He was a “people person.” He never met a stranger. He was a farm boy at heart. His dream as a child was to grow up and have a herd of Hereford cattle in the Nebraska sandhills. The things he learned as a boy on the farm carried him through life: love, serve and rely on God; love your family; work hard; do your best. He was a good singer. He loved to listen to men’s southern gospel quartets and the Gaithers.
He enjoyed rodeos, cattle and horses, building and repairing, shingling and siding, butchering, driving, traveling and pretty much anything anyone needed help with.
He was a farmer, builder and preacher. He lived his life with gratitude, thankful for God’s provision of salvation and daily grace for him. He was a big man with a big heart for God and for others.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mildred; brother, Alston Rasmussen; son, Jerald Rasmussen; brothers-in-law: Kenny Luikens, Whitey Sherman, Leslie Cash, Frank Polk, Larry Whisler, Ed Baer; grandson-in-law: Johann Wolter.
Those left to cherish Marlin’s memory are his wife, Lonna; children: Judith (Randy) Rogers of St. Charles MO, James (Darla) Rasmussen of Stapleton NE, Janel (Mike) Osladil of Batesville IN; daughter-in-law: Beverly Rasmussen of Broken Arrow OK; step-children: Sherilyn (Arron) Cline of Kenosha WI, Londa (Paul) KoKayKo of Carrollton TX, Kimberly (Daniel) Upshaw of Magnolia TX, Jeremy (Kelly) Vasek of Mayer MN; sisters: Berniece Cash, Geneva Sherman, Vergene Polk, Marilyn (Bob) Crane; sisters-in-law: Wanda Rasmussen, Carol (Joe) Morse, Miriam Baer; brother-in-law: David (Jan) Whisler; 14 grandchildren; 6 step-grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; and many cousins, nieces/nephews and friends.