Jeanne Yvonne (Swanson) Rasmussen (June 4th, 1937 - November 3rd, 2015)
Jeanne was born in Williston, North Dakota to Jean and Helga Swanson. Her family moved west to Washington when Jeanne was very young. She was raised on a dairy farm in Whatcom County. Jeanne graduated from Mount Baker High School. Throughout her life she maintained relationships with many of her high school classmates, including annual reunions.
Jeanne married Frank Rasmussen in December of 1958, her senior year in college. She graduated from the University of Washington in 1959. Following graduation, Jeanne worked for one year as a Home Economics teacher at Auburn High School, before starting a family. When her 3 children reached an age where she could go back to work, she spent time in both the Kent and Auburn School Districts as a reading aid. Eventually, Jeanne returned to full time work as an Executive Secretary early in the start-up stage of a local bank, Auburn Valley Bank. Thus she began a 20 year career in banking. She served in various capacities at Auburn Valley Bank until soon after it was purchased by US Bank. She joined again with a local banking group during the formation stage of Cascade Community Bank, and worked there until it was sold to Columbia Bank. Her role eventually was VP of Customer Relations. Aside from her personality, integrity was her calling card. She never brought her work home, and was highly regarded by her clients and by bank executives. Customers from those days recall that Jeanne always greeted them warmly, and knew the first name of every customer when they walked into the bank.
In retirement Jeanne traveled, with Frank, adventurously and extensively around the US, and throughout the world. She loved people, and they both loved to learn about people and cultures everywhere. Sometimes they traveled alone, and other times with a group of friends, all similarly inclined active global adventure seekers, mostly from the Auburn area. Car trips around the Western US, bus excursions with friends on the east coast, small and large boat cruises, they were fit, and game for anything. When on small ship cruises, a favorite, they rarely missed an excursion, tour or guest speaker. They’ve touched every continent in the world except Antarctica. According to Frank, “I’ve lost my best friend and traveling buddy”.
At home, Jeanne was a fabulous cook with limitless energy - she never stopped moving. She loved working in the garden and in recent years added yoga classes to her repertoire. She was an active member of the Auburn Soroptomists Club (29 years), and the Auburn Chapter of PEO (46 years). Jeanne was lively and always eager to lend a hand. She preferred to play a supporting role, but when called upon, she would chair an event, or host a party…. Her warm smile was her trademark greeting. She had excellent instincts about people and her world was filled with community minded, nice, people. She was a wonderful friend, and she took great pleasure in her many wonderful friends.
In addition to travels and other life experiences, Jeanne sat through thousands of basketball, volleyball and soccer games, band concerts, plays and any other activity her kids and grandkids were involved in. Win or lose, she was always there with her cheery smile.
Most of all, she loved Frank, and she loved her family and friends. Jeanne doted on Frank, her husband of nearly 57 years. She cherished her loving family members - children, Bjarne, Blair and Brenda, daughter-in-law Sarah Rasmussen, son-in-law Rob Jensen, and her grandchildren Chris (in-law) Peterson, Christine (Rasmussen) Peterson, Sam, Sabrina, Joe and Jack Rasmussen, and Nicholas and Mitchell Jensen. Jeanne also adored her dear sisters, Carol Canfield of Everett, Arlene Neigeman of Camano Island, and many nieces and nephews. As Jeanne’s illness progressed, it was clear that she was far more concerned with how she was impacting her loved ones, than she was about herself.
Jeanne’s family wants to thank the many friends and neighbors that so generously provided meals, cards, visits, and flowers over the past few months to support and encourage both Jeanne and Frank through her illness. Jeanne’s love, serenity and grace shined brightly throughout, and her friends provided her with tremendous comfort and love.
In lieu of flowers, Frank and Jeanne have requested, for those so inclined, to make a gift to a charity of your choice or to the Green River Community College Foundation, 12401 SE 320th Street, Auburn, WA 98092. Any gifts made in memory of Jeanne Rasmussen will be designated to the existing Frank and Jeanne Rasmussen scholarship endowment fund.