Donna Rasmussen liked to drive her Jeep Wrangler and shifted gears effectively into her late 60s.
The Hagerstown lady actually was pushed, a character trait that touched many in her path of service to folks each in her career and volunteer work till her demise at age 85 on Might 17.
After a nursing profession of 45 years, and elevating 5 youngsters, Rasmussen turned to quite a few volunteer efforts throughout retirement.
“She labored proper up till we needed to shut down volunteer companies throughout COVID,” mentioned Jessica Casey, director of volunteers at Meritus Medical Middle. “March 9 was her final time. She’s been a volunteer right here for 15 years.
“Nothing received her down. She simply stored working. She actually was decided to maintain doing what she felt was her mission.”
Expertise and perspective
Donna Rasmussen grew up the one baby on a Nebraska farm with out electrical energy, maybe an expertise that set in movement a perspective to by no means let something get in the way in which.
Rasmussen’s youngsters noticed how hard-working their mother was from an early age. She labored the evening shift as an intensive care nurse in Cumberland, Md., all of the whereas additionally making time to organize breakfast and dinner, assist with homework, purchasing and different chores and all the opposite issues it takes to maintain a family going. After the household moved to Boonsboro within the mid-1970s to a home and not using a effectively, she added a number of journeys to the laundromat every week.
“As we youngsters grew, married and raised our personal households, we simply appeared again and marveled — how on this planet did Mother keep the power to do all of that, on daily basis and for years on finish?” mentioned son Scott Rasmussen.
Daughter Laura Humphrey mentioned: “Rising up, there wasn’t a lot we 5 youngsters did with out. She at all times discovered cheap methods to make life particular.”
That power, willpower and care was additionally prolonged to her career and the years of volunteer work that adopted.
“She grew up working, and that’s simply who she was,” mentioned Laurie Sandberg, licensed diabetes educator and nurse at Meritus Diabetes Schooling Middle, the place Donna Rasmussen volunteered.
“She was an individual who at all times was prepared to assist out and assist different folks. I simply can’t say sufficient about her. Even together with her personal well being points, she didn’t let that get in her means.”
Donna Rasmussen was additionally lively in church work, each in Cumberland and Hagerstown.
Nursing and extra
“She spent greater than 40 years as a nurse in a wide range of well being care settings — hospitals, a nursing residence, non-public doctor practices and county well being departments,” Scott Rasmussen mentioned.
“What she liked and valued most about being a nurse had been the relationships she’d set up together with her sufferers and their members of the family.”
It was that zeal for serving folks each out and in of the office that left many feeling blessed.
“She was a selflessly impartial lady with a mission to make life for others higher and hotter together with her caring actions, form phrases and constructive angle,” daughter Julie Wyttenbach mentioned.
“She was captivated with giving again by volunteering.”
Rasmussen volunteered in many alternative areas at Meritus since 2004.
“She was only a fantastic girl, very hardworking,” Casey mentioned. “She didn’t like to take a seat idly by. She was at all times in search of the subsequent process.
“To be a volunteer, it’s a must to care about folks. That must be why you’re right here. Your primary mission is since you care about folks. And that was Donna. She cared about folks. She cared in regards to the sufferers. She cared in regards to the employees that she labored with. She cared in regards to the mission of Meritus and serving the neighborhood.”
Sandberg labored carefully with Rasmussen, who regardless of well being problems with her personal stored on volunteering, even with a cane.
“She was a nurse throughout her being,” Sandberg mentioned. “She was such a tough employee, and she or he was vivid.
“She was nice at problem-solving and really smart. She may take a troublesome scenario and break it down and say ‘look, right here’s what now we have to do.’”
Humphrey added, “She liked the medical environment. She liked the power and the caring that went on.”
Volunteer wheels stored rolling
Rasmussen’s volunteer work additionally prolonged to Pink Cross blood-pressure testing in Valley Mall and a 12-year stint delivering Meals on Wheels, some whereas utilizing a cane.
One time her cane was stolen after she left it on the backside of a flight of stairs whereas delivering meals.
“She merely mentioned that she presumed they wanted her cane greater than she did,” son Jeff Rasmussen mentioned.
Her duties with Meals on Wheels had been close to and pricey to her, in response to Scott Rasmussen.
“She was sort of an unstoppable drive of nature,” Scott mentioned. “At the same time as she struggled with horrible again ache and three knee replacements that ultimately pressured her use a cane, she nonetheless stored an everyday schedule of volunteer service actions.
“As together with her nursing profession, what she valued most had been the relationships she developed with ‘her folks,’ the shut-ins on her (Meals on Wheels) route.”
Sandberg agreed Donna Rasmussen by no means let something cease her.
“I may simply really matter on her,” she mentioned.
“She was reliable, at all times right here. She was right here when she mentioned she was going to be right here. She would end the job and get it carried out appropriately.”
Casey famous a uncommon tenacity.
“Nothing received her down,” mentioned Casey. “She simply stored working. She actually was decided to maintain doing what she felt was her mission. She was a robust lady with an ideal humorousness.
“We’re blessed that her household was prepared to surrender so lots of her hours for us. We’re going to overlook her. She was part of our household.”
Donna Rasmussen additionally loved studying and was a longtime member of a neighborhood ebook membership. She favored doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku, and likewise made an ideal cup of espresso.
“Her residence was at all times open to all,” Scott Rasmussen mentioned. “It was a enjoyable, easy-going gathering place for her youngsters, grandkids, great-grandkids and buddies. She at all times had a pot of espresso on. And there was at all times a standing invitation to drop by for a go to.”
Jeff Rasmussen mirrored on his mother’s glowing instance of stay humbly, with dignity and in service to fellow people.
“She invested God’s unconditional love on anybody who would settle for it — a demonstrable, inexhaustible reward she lavished on her youngsters, their spouses, her grandchildren, their buddies and acquaintances,” he mentioned. “All through her life, that love was repaid in phrases and deeds by seemingly everybody she’d ever interacted with. … She gave us all a present that we’re compelled to pay ahead.”