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STEVENSVILLE — Duane Richard Rasmussen, 78, passed away at his home Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. He was born Jan. 24, 1939, at Marcus Daly Hospital, the fourth of five siblings, to David and Hazel Rasmussen. Duane grew up in the Bitterroot Valley, attending school in Corvallis. He married Rita Mae Hafer in 1959 and had one son, Duane “Rick” Rasmussen, Jr. Rita and Duane would enjoy 54 wonderful years together before her passing in 2014.

Duane owned and operated several businesses in his lifetime. These included a meat packing plant in Missoula, and after moving to Stevensville in 1981, Rasmussen Fencing and Country Marble.

Faith played a large role in Duane’s life, being an active member of Faith Baptist Church in Missoula, and later a deacon at Community Baptist Church in Stevensville. Duane also enjoyed being a part of Gideons International and distributing Bibles throughout the community. Duane and Rita considered their church family a part of their extended family, which created many lifelong friendships.

Duane loved horses, tractors (John Deere of course), and a good buffet (especially if he could squeeze in right before they switched from lunch to dinner prices). He enjoyed horse pack trips into Idaho with many friends and family members over the years. Something no one will forget was the way he told a story, or shall we say tried to tell a story. He would laugh so hard throughout his retelling that it made you laugh, long before he ever got to the end.

Duane and Rita opened their hearts and home to all they knew. There was always room for one more around their dinner table — be it a neighbor, a family member, or one of their grandkids’ many friends. Their love, generosity and sincerity will never be forgotten.

Duane is survived by his special aunt, Wilma Whitesitt Rasmussen; two sisters, Beverly (Jim) Springer of Groveland, California, Shirley (Bob) Downing of Hamilton; son Rick (Cordellia) Rasmussen of Peoria, Arizona; five grandchildren, Jeremiah (Jamera) Rasmussen, Pamela Rasmussen, Bobby (Amber) Rasmussen, Jessica (Jason) Meyer, Richelle Rasmussen; nine great-grandchildren, Torvald, Trey, Sylvia, Gavin, Alex, Sawyer, Noah, Riley and Fletcher; and a number of special nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, at the Whitesitt Funeral Home, 314 Church St., Stevensville. Reception immediately following at Community Baptist Church, 409 Buck St., Stevensville. Internment will take place at 3:15 p.m. at Riverside Cemetery in Hamilton. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at whitesittfuneralhome.com

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