ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Merle Rasmus, 94 years old, born on July 15, 1926, and passed away on May 10, 2021. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Connie Tolleson on June 3, 2021
Merle Howard Rasmus, at 94 years of age, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at his home in Grass Valley, California on May 10, 2021.
  Merle was born in Loda, Illinois on July 15, 1926 to Dorothy Margaret Rasmus and Cecil Baldwin. Merle lived on a farm in Flossmore, Illinois with his mother, step-father Nathan Sypult, and sister Rosetta until the age of 8 when he was sent to the Glenwood Manual Training School. 
At age 13, after his step-father’s death, Merle returned home to help support his mother and 6 siblings. He worked as a golf caddy, a server at Alexander’s Restaurant, a pin boy at a bowling alley, and on the assembly line at CC Parsons Ammonia. 
In 1943, when he was just 17, Merle joined the Navy. During his 22 years in the Navy, Merle served in three wars and on everything from a tugboat to an aircraft carrier.
During World War II, Merle fought in the battles of Guam, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Liberation of the Philippines. He was one of the first participants in the occupation of Japan.
During the Korean War, Merle served on the hospital ship, the USS Haven. After the war, the USS Haven returned two boat loads of American POWs to the United States.
In 1954 the USS Haven was deployed to Vietnam where it picked up 1,000 French Foreign Legion POWs and returned them to France.
In 1963-64, after Survival Training, Merle served in Saigon, Vietnam where he ran an Enlisted and Officers’ Mess. He survived a helicopter crash behind enemy lines but fortunately was not captured.
In 1964 Merle was assigned to the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans and returned to the Tonkin Gulf in Vietnam. In July of 1966, at the rank of Chief Petty Officer, Merle was “piped over the side” in a retirement ceremony.
During his long and adventurous post-Navy life Merle wore many hats: a sailor, a baker, a butcher, a cook, a salesman, a mechanic, an accountant, a bar owner/operator (he owned and ran three bars in Southern California), an entrepreneur, a businessman, an instructor, and a Reverend. His nimble intellect, avid curiosity, basic good humor, sunny disposition, and abiding respect for others no matter their status in life, brought success to whatever he turned his hand.
Merle was a member of the American Legion, Fleet Reserve Association, Elks, the Moose, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, was DAV Chaplin and a member of the Delta Hawaii Honor Guard. He enjoyed bowling (scoring 279), sailing or motoring on his boats, fishing and golfing.
Merle H. Rasmus was one of the true heroes of the 20th Century. Not only because he was a participant in many of the major events and innovations of the century, but also because of his personal choice to remain a truly kind and supportive human being despite having had a rough start in life and experiencing the trauma of war.
Merle was loved by everyone who came in contact with him because of his genuine concern for, understanding of, and kindness towards his fellow human beings. Merle was respected and adored by his large blended family and by numerous friends for whom he was a continuing source of encouragement and emotional support.
Merle was predeceased by his six siblings, Dwayne Sypult, Kenneth Sypult, Cleatus Sypult, Cora Morris, Rosetta Hoffer, and Barbara Bullocks; his three wives: Marge Rasmus, Elizabeth Costanzo Rasmus, and Sally Kelly Langes Rasmus; his stepsons Michael Kelly and Conrad Costanzo; and his granddaughter Elizabeth McKenna.
Merle is survived by his beloved daughter Sandra Ross, grandchildren Todd Ross and Catherine Ross, and great-grandchildren Sarah Ross and Grant Ross; his loving step-children William Costanzo and Virginia Costanzo, and Constance Tolleson, grandchildren Leigh Anne Costanzo, Lisa Wilkins, and Elizabeth Tolleson, and great-grandchildren Daniel Maxwell, Cameron Maxwell, and Zachary Wilkins; his devoted step-children Cathleen Kelly and Steve Langes, grandchildren Kelly Calley and Jens Calley, Jesse McKenna and Nicole McKenna, Jeff Langes, Ashley Langes Riverra and Tony Riverra, great-grandchildren Cody Rundle, Jadyn McKenna, Kyuss McKenna, Steven Riverra, and Caleb Riverra; his cousin Lavonda Gream; his sister-in-law Nancy Sypult, his many nieces and nephews including Wanita Hoffer, Ron Miller, Kathy Raitz, and Bryan Sypult; and his cherished fiancée Rita Blake. 
Merle will be missed by his many friends in Grass Valley, California, Contra Costa County, California, and around the country.
Merle Howard Rasmus will be interred at the Sacramento National Military Cemetery at Dixon on June 9th, 2021 at 2:30 PM.
Since it's a National cemetery, flowers are very limited.  Merle would have been pleased with a donation to the Elks or to a military charity. He favored Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled Veterans of America (DVA), and the American Legion.

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Posted by Connie Tolleson on June 3, 2021
Merle Howard Rasmus, at 94 years of age, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at his home in Grass Valley, California on May 10, 2021.
  Merle was born in Loda, Illinois on July 15, 1926 to Dorothy Margaret Rasmus and Cecil Baldwin. Merle lived on a farm in Flossmore, Illinois with his mother, step-father Nathan Sypult, and sister Rosetta until the age of 8 when he was sent to the Glenwood Manual Training School. 
At age 13, after his step-father’s death, Merle returned home to help support his mother and 6 siblings. He worked as a golf caddy, a server at Alexander’s Restaurant, a pin boy at a bowling alley, and on the assembly line at CC Parsons Ammonia. 
In 1943, when he was just 17, Merle joined the Navy. During his 22 years in the Navy, Merle served in three wars and on everything from a tugboat to an aircraft carrier.
During World War II, Merle fought in the battles of Guam, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Liberation of the Philippines. He was one of the first participants in the occupation of Japan.
During the Korean War, Merle served on the hospital ship, the USS Haven. After the war, the USS Haven returned two boat loads of American POWs to the United States.
In 1954 the USS Haven was deployed to Vietnam where it picked up 1,000 French Foreign Legion POWs and returned them to France.
In 1963-64, after Survival Training, Merle served in Saigon, Vietnam where he ran an Enlisted and Officers’ Mess. He survived a helicopter crash behind enemy lines but fortunately was not captured.
In 1964 Merle was assigned to the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans and returned to the Tonkin Gulf in Vietnam. In July of 1966, at the rank of Chief Petty Officer, Merle was “piped over the side” in a retirement ceremony.
During his long and adventurous post-Navy life Merle wore many hats: a sailor, a baker, a butcher, a cook, a salesman, a mechanic, an accountant, a bar owner/operator (he owned and ran three bars in Southern California), an entrepreneur, a businessman, an instructor, and a Reverend. His nimble intellect, avid curiosity, basic good humor, sunny disposition, and abiding respect for others no matter their status in life, brought success to whatever he turned his hand.
Merle was a member of the American Legion, Fleet Reserve Association, Elks, the Moose, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, was DAV Chaplin and a member of the Delta Hawaii Honor Guard. He enjoyed bowling (scoring 279), sailing or motoring on his boats, fishing and golfing.
Merle H. Rasmus was one of the true heroes of the 20th Century. Not only because he was a participant in many of the major events and innovations of the century, but also because of his personal choice to remain a truly kind and supportive human being despite having had a rough start in life and experiencing the trauma of war.
Merle was loved by everyone who came in contact with him because of his genuine concern for, understanding of, and kindness towards his fellow human beings. Merle was respected and adored by his large blended family and by numerous friends for whom he was a continuing source of encouragement and emotional support.
Merle was predeceased by his six siblings, Dwayne Sypult, Kenneth Sypult, Cleatus Sypult, Cora Morris, Rosetta Hoffer, and Barbara Bullocks; his three wives: Marge Rasmus, Elizabeth Costanzo Rasmus, and Sally Kelly Langes Rasmus; his stepsons Michael Kelly and Conrad Costanzo; and his granddaughter Elizabeth McKenna.
Merle is survived by his beloved daughter Sandra Ross, grandchildren Todd Ross and Catherine Ross, and great-grandchildren Sarah Ross and Grant Ross; his loving step-children William Costanzo and Virginia Costanzo, and Constance Tolleson, grandchildren Leigh Anne Costanzo, Lisa Wilkins, and Elizabeth Tolleson, and great-grandchildren Daniel Maxwell, Cameron Maxwell, and Zachary Wilkins; his devoted step-children Cathleen Kelly and Steve Langes, grandchildren Kelly Calley and Jens Calley, Jesse McKenna and Nicole McKenna, Jeff Langes, Ashley Langes Riverra and Tony Riverra, great-grandchildren Cody Rundle, Jadyn McKenna, Kyuss McKenna, Steven Riverra, and Caleb Riverra; his cousin Lavonda Gream; his sister-in-law Nancy Sypult, his many nieces and nephews including Wanita Hoffer, Ron Miller, Kathy Raitz, and Bryan Sypult; and his cherished fiancée Rita Blake. 
Merle will be missed by his many friends in Grass Valley, California, Contra Costa County, California, and around the country.
Merle Howard Rasmus will be interred at the Sacramento National Military Cemetery at Dixon on June 9th, 2021 at 2:30 PM.
Since it's a National cemetery, flowers are very limited.  Merle would have been pleased with a donation to the Elks or to a military charity. He favored Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled Veterans of America (DVA), and the American Legion.
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