Robert A. Rasmussen, Sr., Col USAF, Ret., “Headed West” on October 26, 2015.

Col. Robert “Bob” Adrian Rasmussen, 81, USAF Retired, slipped passed away Monday, October 26, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, November 3, 2015, at Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home and Memorial Park. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home and Memorial Park. Reception will immediately follow the services. Memorial graveside services with Military Honors will be at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 4, 2015, in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Robert was born in Galveston, Texas, to the late Walter Rasmussen and Billie Beth Hanner Rasmussen. He was proud to be B.O.I. which means Born On the Island. Bob’s grandfather, Anders Johann Rasmussen, survived Galveston’s great Hurricane of 1900. Anders also opened the first Ford Dealership in Texas in 1904 and ran it until he died in 1946.

Bob attended Ball High School in Galveston. Bob worked in the family Ford dealership parts department for 25 cents an hour at age ten, he worked as a cook, at airports, sold Cutco knives in college, and worked as a truck driver. In 1949, his father retired and moved the family to Kerrville, TX, where he started his junior year at Tivy High School. Bob graduated from Tivy High in 1951. He loved flying and became a pilot at age 16, taking secret flying lessons at the Kerrville Airport because he knew his parents would never give him permission.

Bob attended the University of Texas at Austin. He was in the ROTC, belonging to the UT Chapter of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He graduated with a Business Degree in Management and Finance. On June 4, 1955, after getting his diploma, he was sworn into the U.S. Air Force as a 2nd Lt. Bob bled burnt orange. On June 17, 1961, he married Helen Jean Martin.

Bob served as a decorated officer in the U.S. Air Force for 27 years and rose to the rank of full Colonel. He earned the Bronze Star and flew many missions in Vietnam. He was proud to be an American Veteran. He retired from the USAF on January 31, 1982, as a Full Colonel.

He went on to have a successful career as a Merrill Lynch as a Financial Consultant for 29 years until he retired in January, 2011, as a Vice President and a Senior Investment Advisor.

Bob loved the beach, vacationing with the family in Galveston, Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach, and the white sands of Fort Walton Beach. In 1997, He built a home at Bay Harbor in Port Aransas. He was convinced that salt water could cure most problems in life whether it be sweat, tears or the sea. He was right. Bob loved lakes, rivers, bays, oceans, fishing, boating, skiing, seafood, especially shrimp, and swimming. Coastal living was a way he loved spending time with his family and friends.

Bob made friends everywhere he went and at every club he joined. He belonged to many organizations, Texas Exes, Rotary Club of Austin, Aces, Daedalians, Men of the Church, and many others. He had this caring charisma that made people laugh and smile. He had a wicked sense of humor, he was bright, blunt, and decisive. He was confident but not cocky. Even in recent years as his memory loss progressed he became sweeter, kinder, more patient and deeply appreciative.

Bob loved to travel and he and his wife, Jean, saw the world. They loved cruises and went on over 45 cruises all over the world, spanning every ocean, every continent, and many ports, countries, seas and great rivers. Bob loved photography, he took many pictures at family gatherings and his travels.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Jean Martin Rasmussen; sons, Robert Rasmussen Jr. and his wife, Kristina (Scott), and Anders Rasmussen and his wife, Lisabeth (Proctor); daughter, Elise Cole and her husband, David Brian; grandchildren: Dane Rasmussen and his partner, Allison Cundiff, Tess Rasmussen, Andrew Dax Cole, and David Alexander “Xander” Cole; Bob’s twin sisters, Beth Rasmussen Osendorf and her husband, Rick, and Bette Plumbley and her life partner, Susan Wendorff; other relatives and many friends.

Austin American-Statesman: 11/1/2015…K20

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