Dr. James A. Rasmussen, 78, of Magnolia passed away peacefully and surrounded by his loved ones on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at the Post Acute Medical Hospital of Texarkana.
He was born on December 14, 1940 in Campbell, NE to the late A.C. Rasmussen and Darleene (Brouliette) Rasmussen.
James was an ecologist, and loved, respected, and admired nature and the outdoors. He was an avid athletics fan and participant, and often served as a coach, mentor and referee. James was an academic and sports scholar and earned his Ph.D in botany at Oklahoma University.
James began his teaching career as a biology and chemistry teacher and coached many sports at Harvard High School for five years. He then continued his teaching career at Mount Marty College in Yankton, SD for an additional 20 years. Later, he moved his family to Magnolia and began teaching biology at Southern Arkansas University for another 20 plus years where he served as the chairman of the Biology Department. James took his role as chairman and student adviser very seriously, and he was instrumental in the formation of the new Science building. He was presented with the Honor Professor Award at both institutions of higher learning at which he taught.
James is preceded in death by his parents and a son, Michael Rasmussen.
He is survived by his wife, Mona Rasmussen of Magnolia; five children, Debra Rasmussen of Lincoln, NE, Thomas Rasmussen and wife Concetta Berardozzi of Berlin, CT, Bradley Rasmussen and wife Jamie Sexton of Chula Vista, CA, Monica Locey and husband Ryan of Fayetteville, and Kristin Lehner and husband Mark of Springdale; four grandchildren, Corissa Buehner, Adriano Rasmussen, Konrad Lehner, and Madeline Locey; and a brother, Fr. John C. Rasmussen of Elk Point, SD.
A rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. A funeral mass will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with Fr. William Burmester and Fr. John C. Rasmussen officiating. Visitation with the family will follow.