Joan V. Rasmusson, 93, of Sioux Falls, formerly of Dell Rapids, passed away on Thursday, February 16, 2023 at Grand Living At Lake Lorraine. Her funeral service will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 in the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids. Visitation will be two hours prior to the start of the service in the church.
Memorials may be directed to the Dell Rapids Relief Fund www.dellrapidsrelief.com or the Dell Rapids Trailway Fund, c/o Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation 200 N. Cherapa Place, Sioux Falls, SD 5710 www.sfacf.org
Joan Virginia Ollig Rasmusson was born December 28, 1929, in Waverly, Minnesota. Joan’s parents, Loren and Hazel, started an independent telephone company in 1926 that survived the Depression and ultimately served rural towns in Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa. An older sister, Helen, died in 2002. Baby sister Gail, born when Joan was a college coed, lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Joan left her Lutheran heart at St. Olaf College to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in education at Macalester College. Upon graduation, she fled Minnesota winters to teach first grade in Long Beach, California. There, at a Methodist church mixer, she met U.S. Navy LTJG John Rasmusson. They married March 23, 1957, and were fast partners in family, faith, and community service.
After the Navy, John worked as a civil engineer in Kansas City. He joined Joan’s family’s telephone business in 1962, and Joan and John moved first to Ada, Minnesota, then to Dell Rapids. They built a house at the edge of town. John was President of Sioux Valley Telephone Company and Hills Telephone Company, and later CEO of Ollig Utilities. Joan, foremost a homemaker and mother, sat on the Ollig Utilities board of directors. The Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids was their second home. They raised three children: Peter (63, Sioux Falls, SD), Pam (61, Chatham, NY) and Laurie (59, Washington, DC). When the nest emptied, Joan turned to swimming, travel, church and PEO activities, friendships, and, always, enthusiastic involvement in the lives of her children and grandchildren; her sister Gail and Gail’s four children; and her mother Hazel, who died in 2006 at age 103.
In 2011, John and Joan moved from Dell Rapids to Sioux Falls. They joined Peace Lutheran Church and made new friends, even as they remained close to the Dell Rapids community.
John died suddenly in 2016. Joan, unable to live independently, found a beautiful, caring home at Grand Living at Lake Lorraine. There, on February 16, 2023, she slept peacefully away.
Her kindness, her lipstick-bright smile, and her unique knack for turning life’s pain and losses into gratitude, are a balm and inspiration to her loving survivors; sister, Gail; children, Peter Rasmusson, Pam Carroll and Laurie Wolfert, and son-in-law, Oliver Wolfert; grandchildren, Megan Carroll-Kulick (Aaron) and Matt Carroll-Dunne (Lea); Christian, Wesley, Evan and Ryan Rasmusson; and Claire and Eliot Wolfert; great-grandchildren, Lily and James Kulick, and Iver Carroll-Dunne; nieces/nephews, Kris Merkins (Rich), Jim Ellefson (Cindy), Nancy Merkins, and MaryBeth Ellefson; DJ Lillard (Danielle), Shanyn Lillard-Smith (Adam), and Brant Lillard; great niece/birthday twin, Hazel Smith; and great nephews, Gunnar Smith and Isaac Lillard.
The service will be live streamed at
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