Monday, January 18, 2016
11:00 AM EST
Centerpoint Church (in the Chapel)
2345 N. 10th Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
A luncheon will follow in the church hall.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Directed to the family to assist with medical bills
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Although he was taken from his loved ones too soon, James Rasmussen made a significant impact in the lives of everyone he met. He was a hardworking man of integrity who had the best sense of humor that made him so much fun to be around. Jim was a devoted husband and father whose family was his greatest source of pride and joy. He was organized in a disorganized kind of way, but he always gave everything his all. Jim was a spiritual man who faced whatever trials came his way with both a grace and courage that were to be admired. With unending love for his family and friends, he was truly a gift and will never be forgotten.
The 1960s were an exciting time in American history. Early on we elected the young John F. Kennedy as our 35th President, only to mourn his death a short time later. Civil rights were front and center, and as the decade was drawing to a close it was America that was victorious in the space race between our nation at the Soviet Union. Amidst this exciting time was the year 1966 when John and Sandra (Warner) Rasmussen were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named James Allen on August 12, 1966, in Youngstown, Ohio. Jim was the youngest of five children in his family, and he was seven years younger than his next closest sibling.
Raised in the family homes in North Bloomfield and Cortland, Ohio, Jim was a sweet boy who was partially parented by his siblings. His best friend was Donnie Wagner, although maybe he could have been called his partner in crime as the two boys got into a bit of mischief at times. He was often known as “Little Jimmy,” and the name stuck. Jim graduated from Trumbull County Vocational School where he took several computer classes. He thrived in these classes and even did well in various competitions.
Jim graduated from high school in 1984, and in May of 1985 he enlisted in the United States Air Force with a six year commitment. He was initially stationed in San Antonio, Texas. Jim ended up making a career in the military, and he loved all the structure, regulation, and procedures that the military requires. While in the Air Force, he was a computer programmer and analyst. He liked joking with people and telling them that he would have to kill them if he told them much about his work! Jim retired from the military in 2006 and began working as a civilian at Buckley AFB in Centennial, Colorado.
New and exciting changes were in store for Jim when he met the woman of his dreams as a young man. He was a talented bowler at the time and was just coming home from the bowling alley when he met Michelle Reed, who was also in the Air Force. This was in February of 1987, and at first they were just friends who hung out together. In November of 1987 they began dating, and on September 30, 1989, they were married at Westwood Church of God in Kalamazoo. They took a honeymoon to Puerto Vallarta where they both went parasailing. Together they were blessed with four children, Aubree, Travis, Caleb, and Aimee. The first two children were born while Jim was stationed in England, and his wife left the Air Force to focus on raising their children. Their other two children were born stateside as they spent time living in Bellevue, Nebraska; Tucson, Arizona; Warner Robins, Georgia; and finally Centennial, Colorado. They also had an exchange student, Jaime, from Columbia during the 1998-1999 school year. Just last year, Jim took Travis (for his 21st birthday) to visit Jaime. The Rasmussen home was always a bustle of activity with teenage friends of the kids often moving for extended periods of time; although, something always seemed to be going wrong, Jim took it all in stride with his sense of humor intact.
Throughout his life Jim was always active. He played all sports while he was growing up, and while their kids were growing up he coached them in various sports as well. In addition to bowling, Jim also played golf, softball, volleyball, basketball, and even tried soccer. He was a handyman, even if it was in his own mind since he had a closet full of things needed to tackle and repair. In reality, he never had the time to fix much with all of his activities. Jim loved playing video games including games with tanks, sports, fantasy and conquest. He enjoyed grilling and also made breakfast burritos and great macaroni salad. Jim like reading Piers Anthony books, watching sci-fi and action movies, and everyone in his family liked singing together. His favorite band was Third Day and he also loved country music. The Pittsburgh Steelers were his favorite team, and with basketball it was the Celtics and the Spurs. Wherever they were living, Jim also enjoyed keeping up with the local teams. When it came to his favorite food, well he just loved it all. As his family and friends can attest, he was a slow eater as he was one to savor every bite. Later in life Jim became a diabetic, but he did enjoy his coffee sweet. Growing up he always had pets. Although he was primarily a dog person, they currently have a cat named Moses. A follower of Jesus Christ, Jim attended Centerpoint Church.
All who knew James Rasmussen would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He had a bit of a short man complex as he was 5’ 8” on a good day, but he balanced his hard headed side with a dry sense of humor that always made Michelle laugh. Jim adored his wife and children, and it was when surrounded by his family and friends that he was happiest. Although life will never be the same without him here, Jim leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
James A. Rasmussen, of Kalamazoo, died on January 13, 2016. Jim’s family includes his wife, Michelle (Reed) Rasmussen; 4 children: Aubree, Travis, Caleb and Aimee Rasmussen; an “adopted" son Bradley Greer along with others they took into their home; 4 siblings: Randy (Tina) Rasmussen, Patricia Hippely, Dawn Wagner and John “Jack” (Mary Jo) Rasmussen; in-laws: Mike and Sue Reed; sister-in-law, Debrah (David) Udom and many nieces and nephews. Visit with family and friends on Sunday from 4 – 7 p.m. at Centerpoint Church (2345 N. 10th Street). Services will also be held at Centerpoint on Monday at 11 a.m. (in the Chapel) followed by a luncheon in the church hall. Please visit Jim’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his guest book. Memorial contributions may be directed to the family to assist with medical expenses. Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900