Joan J. Rasmussen
Sept. 24, 1932-Oct. 1, 2022

How often have any of us said, “If I have a choice, I want to go to sleep and not wake up”?

That is exactly what Joan did. She didn’t wake up on October 1, 2022.

The day before, September 30th, was a most amazing day after a horrible week. Joan hadn’t been feeling well. So unwell, she missed going to her great-grandson’s wedding, with regrets. And had to cancel her 90th birthday party because she was admitted to the hospital two days prior to it.

She had her hair washed and styled at the hairdresser’s. Went for her follow-up appointment. Then joined her friend Rita Coleman, giggling, for a long-anticipated jaunt to the casino. She was winning at the slots. She stayed until she wanted to go home. It was a most fun and amazing day for her. After she got home, she got everything ready for the next day. She laid down, went to sleep, and closed her eyes forever. Peacefully and finally as she wished.

Joan had many hardships in her young life. She was 13 when her mother died in childbirth. There were 6 girls, one boy and a father who chose not to raise them. Joan was passed from one relative to another. Teenage girls weren’t looked upon as anything but a burden at that time. She lied about her age to work to survive at 14. She truly was a strong woman.

She met and married Jim Lake when she was 19. They moved to South Dakota where they set up a household. They had three sons, Mike, Tony and Neil. She and Jim divorced.

She migrated to Fortuna, where she met John Rasmussen, the love of her life. They married and had two children, Ken and Nancy (Carswell). She was proud of her three children and loved them very much.

Joan was proud of her home. She was a voracious reader and proud of her books. She volunteered at Redwood Memorial Hospital as a Pink Lady for 12 years.

Joan had a sharp wit, often giving family and friends a bad time followed by her trademark chuckle.

She is preceded in death by her husband, John Rasmussen, her two infant sons, Tony and Neil Lake, and her sisters, Delores, Myna, and Della Jane.

Joan is survived by her sons, Mike Lake (Debra), and Ken Rasmussen (Cindy) and daughter, Nancy Carswell (Roy). Her grandchildren are Heather McTigue (Patrick), Isaac Lake (Shannon), Ashley Rasmussen, Dave and Neal Thomsen, Kenny and Brian Carswell. Her great-grandchildren are Ty Lake (Kelly) and Kyle Lake; Justin, Kaden, and William Thomsen; and Cole Petlichkov. She is also survived by her dear best friend, Rita Coleman.

At her request, her ashes will be scattered with John’s at a private service.

“Live a good life. In the end, it is not the years in the life, but the life in the years.”


The obituary above was submitted by Joan Rasmussen’s loved onesThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email