Obituary for Merle Howard Rasmus |

Obituary for Merle Howard Rasmus

Merle Howard


July 15, 1926 – May 10, 2021

Merle Howard Rasmus, 94, passed peacefully, surrounded by family, at his home in Grass Valley, California.

Merle was born in Loda, Illinois on July 15, 1926 to Dorothy Margaret Rasmus and Cecil Baldwin.

Joining the Navy during World War II, Merle was 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. During the Vietnam War Merle ran an Enlisted and Officers’ Mess in Saigon, and served on the USS Frank E. Evans.

After retiring at the rank of Chief Petty Officer in 1966, Merle explored a variety of occupations where his nimble intellect, avid curiosity, basic good humor, and abiding respect for others brought him success and many new friends.

Merle was predeceased by siblings, Dwayne Sypult, Kenneth Sypult, Cleatus Sypult, Cora Morris, Rosetta Hoffer, and Barbara Bullocks; wives Marge Rasmus, Elizabeth Costanzo Rasmus, and Sally Kelly Langes Rasmus; stepsons Michael Kelly and Conrad Costanzo; and granddaughter Elizabeth McKenna.

Merle is survived by his beloved daughter Sandra Ross, grandchildren Todd and Catherine Ross, great-grandchildren Sarah and Grant Ross; his loving step-children William and Virginia Costanzo, and Constance Tolleson, grandchildren Leigh Anne Costanzo, Lisa Wilkins, and Elizabeth Tolleson, and great-grandchildren Daniel and Cameron Maxwell, and Zachary Wilkins; his devoted step-children Cathleen Kelly and Steve Langes, grandchildren Kelly and Jens Calley, Jesse and Nicole McKenna, Jeff Langes, Ashley Langes Riverra and Tony Riverra, great-grandchildren Cody Rundle, Jadyn and Kyuss McKenna, Steven and Caleb Riverra; his cousin Lavonda Gream; his sister-in-law Nancy Sypult, many nieces and nephews including Wanita Hoffer, Ron Miller, Kathy Raitz, and Bryan Sypult; and his cherished fiancée Rita Blake.

Merle Howard Rasmus will be interred at the Sacramento National Military Cemetery, at Dixon, California on June 9th, 2021 at 2:30 PM.

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