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Pastor Virgil Rasmussen, 91


Pastor Virgil I. Rasmussen, 91 of Cloquet passed away on Friday, December 22, 2017 in Community Memorial Hospital after suffering a stroke earlier that day. He was born May 11, 1926 in Marshall County, Minnesota to George and Olga Rasmussen. He grew up on the family farm and attended school in Strandquist, MN. Virgil served his country on Guam in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II. He graduated from North Central University in Minneapolis in 1949 and began his career in ministry that same year. He married Ruth Olson on May 30, 1949 in Duluth. Virgil pastored several congregations in northern Minnesota prior to serving at the Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle (now Journey Christian Church) for 24 years before retiring in 1988. Following retirement, Virgil served as an interim pastor at several churches in the Midwest. Virgil and Ruth were full partners and served side by side throughout his career. Pastor Rasmussen was a master conversationalist who cared passionately about his faith, ministry, all people, our planet, his family, having fun and laughing, building, gardening, and so much more. At 91 and a half years of age, he was still curious, learning and evolving. He leaves behind a legacy of integrity, sincere humility, selfless compassion, ingenuity and tireless hard work. He and Ruth prayed together daily for each family member by name, as well as for countless friends around the world. Virgil was preceded in death by his brother, Glenn; granddaughter, Esther Hope Rasmussen; sons-in-law, Robert Hilton and Kirby Smith. He is survived and will be sadly missed by his wife of 68 years, Ruth; his six children, LeAnn (Paul) Nelson of Rochester, NY, Arlen Rasmussen of Cloquet, Linda Smith of Seattle, WA, Nathan (Karen) Rasmussen of Kigoma, Tanzania, East Africa, Lynette (Alan) Rasmussen Sclater of Seattle, WA, and Steven (Janice) Rasmussen of St. Paul; sisters, LouAnn Grandstrand of Cloquet, Carol (Don) Gossenberger of Mission Viejo, Calif.; brothers, Vern (Sharon) of Frazee, Minn. and Allen (Gail) of International Falls; 15 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held Wednesday, January 3 at Journey Christian Church. In lieu of flowers, Pastor Rasmussen requested that memorials be directed to Journey Christian Church for its missions program. Arrangements entrusted to Atkins Northland Funeral Home, Cloquet. To sign the guest book and offer an online tribute, see

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