Elvera Blonien Rasmussen of Hay Springs, Neb., passed away at Pioneer Manor in Hay Springs on July 18, 2017, at the age of 88. A vigil will be held on Monday, July 24, 2017, at 7 p.m. at St. Columbkille Catholic church in Hay Springs. Mass of Christian burial for Elvera will be held Tuesday July 25, 2017, at 10 a.m. at the Catholic church in Hay Springs. A memorial has been established to the Hay Springs ambulance fund.
Elvera was born on April 12, 1929, to Erwin and Esther (Peters) Blonien in Moon, Wisc. She and her older brother, Gerald attended a Catholic school until the family moved to Hay Springs in 1941. As Elvera became acquainted with the other children in the area they gave her the nickname “Bunny” which stuck for many years. She graduated from Hay Springs high school in 1947. Elvera and Paul Rasmussen were married on March 19, 1949, and they settled on an irrigated farming unit on Mirage Flats (south of Hay Springs). Paul and his brother, Carl were the two best dancers in the country so Paul and Elvera and Carl and Mary Ann spent many a Saturday night dancing the night away. There were many meals shared with friends and family playing cards late into the night. Numerous trips were made to camp and fish with family and friends at Walgren Lake and Box Butte dam. They raised their four children on the farm: Fran, Dennis, Roger, and Robyn. They kept busy attending their children’s activities at School District # 56 and Hay Springs High School. Elvera always had a garden, loved her chickens (she once trained a chicken to sit in a chair beside her and eat from her hand) and her cats and dogs. She also enjoyed music and played the accordion. She was athletic and enjoyed sports – playing on a “Mirage Flats Mammas” softball team at first base and coaching girl’s softball teams. She liked to watch the Cornhuskers and Broncos football games and the Rockies baseball games on TV. Elvera also loved working in her kitchen – cooking, baking and preparing meals. She taught her two daughters many of her cooking skills. She once cooked an entire meal for a Pioneer Manor board meeting and when she baked in the assisted living kitchen she shared her baked items with the Manor staff.
Elvera could be a prankster too – she once decorated a beautiful birthday “cake” (a sponge cake) for a friend’s birthday and when the friend tried to cut into the cake it was really tough! She had layered and decorated several large kitchen sponges! After her children left home she was a caregiver for ten years and drove a school bus for Mirage Flats School District #30 for fourteen years. She once saved one of her student’s lives by administering the Heimlich maneuver during a bus trip.
Elvera was a long time VFW Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary member, always supporting and participating in the projects for our veterans.
Elvera is survived by her brother Gerald Blonien; daughter Fran (Larry) Wallin, Robyn Rasmussen; grandson Jeff (Rita) Wallin-and daughters: Mackayla and Jentry, grandson Brad (Tatiana) Wallin and daughter Anya; son Dennis (Jan) Rasmussen, granddaughter Jenn (John) Hayden and children: Jacob, Jocelyn and Jaylene, granddaughter Jessica (Kent) Canoy and grandson Ryan Rasmussen; son Roger (Nancy) Rasmussen, grandson Toby (Rachel) Rasmussen and granddaughter Taby Rasmussen (fiance Dustin Burmood) and Autumn; sister-in-law Elvera Varvel; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Norman (Doris) Rasmussen; and Aunt several nieces, nephews and cousins and a few remaining friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul; parents, Erwin and Esther Blonien; in-laws Anton and Violet Rasmussen; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Carl and Mary Ann Rasmussen; sister-in-law Roxy Blonien and brother-in-law Jim Varvel.
Times were often tough on the farm, but there was always plenty of food on the table, clothes on our backs, lots of love and awesome fun filled memories made with family and friends. We love you mom and will miss you a lot!