Joanne Rasmussen, 69

Published 7:24 am Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Joanne Rasmussen, 69, of Austin, Minnesota, died Sunday, July 22, 2018, at home.

Joanne Rasmussen, 69

She was born on Feb. 22, 1949, in Pueblo, Colorado, the daughter of Grady and Bertha (Stjernholm) Smith. Joanne grew up on a farm and graduated in from high school in in 1967 Fowler, Colorado. Upon graduation, she attended school at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, before transferring to University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo, where she graduated in 1971 with her degree in teaching. From 1971-1972, Joanne taught fifth grade in Las Animas, Colorado. One day in 1971, she was at church in Fowler when her mother introduced her to a man by the name of Stanley Rasmussen, who was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, in the U.S. Army. On June 9, 1972, the couple married in the very same church they met in one year earlier. That same year, the couple moved to Austin, where Stan began working for Hormel Foods Corporation. At the end of 1972, Hormel relocated the couple to Montevideo, Minnesota. In 1973, they moved to Sigourney, Iowa, where their family of two grew to a family of four. In 1984, the family was relocated back to Austin. Joanne spent many years teaching pre-school and taught at Head Start. After teaching, she began a career with Rachel’s Hope – A Caring Pregnancy Center and was hired as their director in 2007. She continued to provide direction to the center until 2015. In 2010, the couple began wintering in Mesa, Arizona, where she enjoyed many new activities. Joanne loved tending to her flowers, traveling and, most importantly, helping others. Her mission in life was to help other people get what they needed and, in the process, share her love of God. She shared her love and compassion while volunteering at St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Red Cross, Lutheran Disaster Relief and Rachel’s Hope. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Survivors include her husband, Stanley Rasmussen of Austin; daughter, Brenda (Rob) Zahn of Farmington Hills, Michigan; son, Doug (Katie) Rasmussen of Madison, Wisconsin; five grandchildren, Kjirsten Zahn, Ainsley Zahn, Felicity Zahn, Grady Rasmussen and Marketa Rasmussen; four sisters, Mary Beth (Bill) Asselin of Clovis, California, Katherine (Wayne) Hahn of Paxton, Nebraska, Kirstine (Rick) Mitchell of Naples, Italy, and Gail (Brian) Anderson of Thornton, Colorado; sister-in-law, Karen Smith of Pueblo; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Joanne was preceded in death by her parents, Grady and Bertha Smith; and brother, Dr. Thomas Smith.

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Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Austin with Pastor James Groleau officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, July 27, 2018, at Worlein Funeral Home and will continue for one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church. Interment will be at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, Minnesota, on Monday, July 30, 2018. Memorials can be directed to Rachel’s Hope, The Hormel Institute for breast cancer research, St. John’s Lutheran Church Radio Ministry or recipient of donor’s choice. Services pre-arranged and performed by Worlein Funeral Home of Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at