Patricia J. Rasmussen, an award-winning reporter and columnist who worked for multiple publications across Brown and Door counties during a 33-year career in journalism, passed away Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, after a decade-long battle with dementia.
Patti, as she was affectionately known to family and friends, was born on Nov. 2, 1951, in Litchfield, Minnesota. She moved to Bloomington, Minnesota in grade school, and then to Wauwatosa, Wisconsin where she graduated from Wauwatosa East High School in 1970. Patti went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1974. Patti became a free spirit during her college years, growing into a quiet but fierce advocate for feminism and equality.
She met the love of her life, Alan Rasmussen, while both were working for Super America in 1972 in a chance meeting while both traveled to help open a new store in Peshtigo, Wisconsin; Alan was an assistant manager in Two Rivers and Patti a cashier from Brookfield, Wisconsin. They were married on Sept. 29, 1973.
Al and Patti spent 11 years in Roscoe, Illinois, where Patti worked as a reporter for the Rockton-Roscoe Herald. In 1990 they moved to Green Bay, where Patti worked as a Special Sections’ editor for the Green Bay News-Chronicle. She later worked as an editor for a group of weekly newspapers in Kewaunee County that included the Algoma Record Herald, Luxemburg News and the Kewaunee Enterprise. She also served as the editor of The Door County Advocate and the Denmark Press.
In addition to serving as an editor, Patti was an accomplished columnist. Her favorite topics were quirky anecdotes from daily life and her grandchildren’s antics. Patti won a number of state writing awards, including accolades from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and the Illinois Press Association.
Patti was an avid reader and a free thinker with the soul of an artist. Her smile would light up even the gloomiest Green Bay winter day. She saw the world in vivid color and embraced nonconformity and uniqueness. She was accepting and gentle, fluid and kind with a quick wit and an endless supply of clever commentary on the irony of life. Her favorite “Star Wars” character was Yoda; in many ways she was the real-life embodiment of the Jedi master.
Her children, Rachel and Karen, were the center of her life. More than a mother, she was her girls’ best friend. Whether it was sitting on the couch talking, a phone call or a visit, she was always there with open arms, hugs and words of wisdom.
Patti found pure joy in being a grandmother, she saw that role as her legacy. She doted on her grandchildren, Gracelyn and Evan, reading them countless bedtime stories, coloring with them, taking them to feed the ducks, showing up with an armload of presents on Christmas morning and never, ever missing trick-or-treating with them on Halloween night. Her grandchildren were her life.
Patti was a charter member of Christ Community Lutheran Church in Green Bay. Survivors include husband, Alan; daughters, Rachel (Ron Radunzel) Rasmussen and Karen (Todd) Richmond; granddaughter, Gracelyn Richmond and grandson, Evan Richmond; sisters, Janet Pipkorn and Sue (Bruce) Parmentier; brother, Jeff (Dawn) Harris; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Patti was preceded in death by her parents, Jack and Alice Harris; and brother-in-law, Jim Pipkorn; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Andy and Rose Rasmussen.
Visitation will be held on Friday, August 19, 2022, at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue on Saturday, August 20, 2022, at Christ Community Lutheran Church, 1742 Servant Way, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Memorial service 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the church with Pastor John Sell officiating. Online condolences may be expressed at www.prokowall.com.