Royal Joseph Rasmussen born in 1929 in Taylorville, Illinois to Joseph Rasmussen and Iva (Mahan) Rasmussen. Surviving are his wife, Jean Rasmussen and sons Scott Rasmussen (Denise) and Mark Rasmussen (Karen). An infant son, Dale Rasmussen preceded him in death. He also is survived by grandsons Joseph Rasmussen and Alexander Rasmussen and wife Kendal, and granddaughters Jessyca Thompson and McKenzie Thompson; two great-grandsons & two great-granddaughters; sisters Barbara Davis and Gloria Carter.
Though Royal lived most of his life in an urban setting, he greatly valued his life on the farm in Illinois, where he lived from when he was thirteen years old until he completed college. He received an Architectural Engineering Degree with Honors from the University of Illinois in 1951, then was drafted into the US Army and spent two years in the Engineering and Intelligence Branches during the Korean War. He completed graduate study in Programming, Planning, Budgeting and Systematic Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1967-68. Royal was a Registered Architect and was certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
He and his wife, Jean, were married on May 16, 1954, and lived in Rockford, Illinois for ten years then in the Washington, D.C. area for 25 years before retiring to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1988.
He was a Christian and a very active member of the Community of Christ Church. Over the years he had been called to serve in the lay priesthood offices of Priest, Elder and High Priest, and the office of Evangelist since 1996. He held several administrative positions also: in 1961-62 was counselor to the Rockford, Illinois church pastor. In 1977-78 was counselor to the Washington, D.C. Branch pastor. In 1979 he was elected pastor of the Washington congregation, then from 1980 through mid-1988 he served as counselor to the World-Church appointed pastor. After moving to North Carolina he was pastor of the church in Cary for 1990-91. In 1992 he was elected District President of the East North Carolina District and served until 1996. While serving in that position, he also served as President of the Board of Directors for the church's Southeast Region Endowment Fund for two years.
He was also active in the Homeowners Association of the Laurel Springs Subdivision. He served as President of the Board of Directors for almost three years and as chairman of both the Architectural Review Committee and its Adopt-A-Highway volunteer effort for many years.
In spite of having a vocation that kept him inside much of the time, he loved the outdoors and nature, believing nature and all creatures of life, including humans, to be the work of God. This belief motivated him in 1984 to leave his vocation for two years to research, write and publish a book titled, How New Evidence of God Can Bring You Joy, in the hope that it might in some small way bring purpose and happiness to the lives of those who read it.
Royal requested a service for him be a joyful time--a true celebration of life and death, because he believed death is a part of life and is a brief event between our mortal and immortal lives. That service will be Sunday, August 15 at 3:00 p.m. at Walkers's Funeral Home, 120 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill.
Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill is honored to serve the Rasmussen family.