Erling Elgene Rasmussen, 70, of Mesa, AZ, and Stanley, ND, died June 26, 2012, at his home in Mesa after a short battle with cancer. Born June 11, 1942, in Powers Lake, ND, to Herman and Gunda (Johnson) Rasmussen, he was the third of four children. Along with his sisters, Erling was raised on the family farm north of Stanley. He attended a one room schoolhouse in Lostwood during his early school years and graduated from Stanley High School in 1960. Erling then attended North Dakota State University where he earned both bachelor and master’s degrees in electrical engineering.
Erling moved to Arizona for employment following his college graduation. Soon after, he met his loving wife, Pamela, and they were married on June 15, 1968. They were blessed with three children: Brian, Jason, and Bethany. Erling took great pride in his children and in recent years delighted in being a grandfather. The family returned to the Rasmussen farm each summer. The most recent of these trips was in June 2012 when Erling’s wife, children, and grandchildren helped him celebrate his 70th birthday on the farm.
Erling’s engineering career was spent in Arizona, first for Motorola and later for General Dynamics. He loved his work and devoted himself to it. His contributions meant the success of many projects and he advanced quickly in his career, eventually earning the positions of Corporate Vice President and Chief Technical Officer. While working on projects that ranged from the Apollo space missions to military communications equipment, he earned many awards and patents. He had an intense work ethic and there was no project he couldn't figure out how to complete. Yet, these projects were not the only passions in his life. He was a farm boy at heart and held a deep, lasting love for North Dakota and farming. He longed to spend time driving tractors on the open prairies. Following his retirement six years ago, Erling spent nearly half of each year on the family farm and was able to live out his lifelong dream of farming.
He is survived by his wife, Pamela, Mesa, AZ; three children, Brian, Chandler, AZ, Jason (Stephanie), Grapevine, TX, Bethany, Denver, CO; grandchildren, Nash, Emily, Megan, Kaitlyn; sisters, Marilyn and Doreen. He was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Gunda, and one sister, Marles.
Erling’s funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday, July 6, 2012, at American Lutheran Church in Stanley, ND. Burial will immediately follow at Fairview Cemetery, Stanley. Online condolences may be shared at (www.springanfuneralhome.com)