Monday, August 15, 2016

Longtime DPS Teacher Margaret Rasmussen Passes; Funeral Is Saturday

For 32 years -- almost a third of a century -- Margaret Rasmussen was a fixture at Dorchester Public Schools, where she taught two generations of fourth graders.

The Times has received word that Rasmussen, who celebrated her 100th birthday at an open house in Dorchester exactly one year ago last Tuesday, has passed.

Rasmussen started her teaching career after her high school graduation in 1932.  Taking night classes, attending summer school and doing extension work, she earned her bachelor's degree from Doane College.  

For many years, she taught at country schools in Saline and Fillmore counties.  She even served on the advisory board for the Nebraska history textbook.

Rasmussen's first year with Dorchester Schools was 1961.  She retired in May 1993.  Her retirement closed the books on a 52-year teaching career.

An obituary will be posted when it is made available to the public.

UPDATE: Here is Margaret's obituary, as posted by Lauber Moore Funeral Home:

A Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, August 20, 2016 at the United Church of Christ in Friend with Pastor Dave Coleman officiating. Interment will be in Andrew Cemetery. Visitation will be on Friday, 1-9 pm at Lauber-Moore Funeral Home, Friend. Memorials are directed in care of the family for future designation. Pallbearers will be Justin Hesser, Mark Zieg, Todd Hilifiker, Gerald Zieg, Tanner Rasmussen and Douglas Rasmussen. Honorary Pallbearers will be John Stewart, Sonny Hanson and Loki Rasmussen. Shirley Milton, organist, will accompany Gloria Riley, vocalist, for the songs, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” and “How Great Thou Art”. The congregational hymn will be “In The Garden”. 

Margaret Geraldine Rasmussen was born August 16, 1915 on a farm near Cordova to George and Anna A. (Ahl) Zieg, Sr. the oldest of three children and passed away on Monday, August 15, 2016 at Bryan Medical Center East in Lincoln at the age of 100 years, 11 months 30 days. As a young girl she attended country school and graduated from Friend High School with the Class of 1934. Following her graduation, Margaret received her Normal Teaching Certificate and taught in Saline County School Districts #23, #33 and #101. She then taught in Fillmore County Districts #23 and #33 before returning to Saline County #23. Margaret took night classes, attended summer school and did extension work so that she could complete her Bachelor’s degree, which she received from Doane College. Margaret taught at Dorchester Public School from 1961 to 1993. She was united in marriage to Harold Axel Rasmussen on May 28, 1946 at St. John’s Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cordova and to this union two sons, Dean and Dale were born. 

Together they made their home in the Friend and Dorchester area where Margaret was a busy mother raising her sons and teaching school. During the summer months she often was found tutoring students. Margaret taught 32 years at Dorchester for a total of 52 years when she retired. 

Margaret served on the Advisory Committee for the Nebraska History text “Changing Nebraska.” She was a member of Nebraska State Teachers Association. 

In her spare time, Margaret raised a large garden, canning the bounty. She did embroidery and was an avid reader. One of her favorite holidays was Thanksgiving for the gathering of the family.

Margaret is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Dean and Rose Anne Rasmussen, Lincoln, Dale and Pam Rasmussen, Ceresco, three grandchildren, Douglas Rasmussen, Challis, ID, Loki Rasmussen, Charlottesville, VA, Tanner Rasmussen, Lincoln, sister-in-law, Marie McCormich, Lincoln, nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, brother, George “Bud” Zieg, Jr., sister, Gertrude “Gertie” Steffensen.


  1. Can't believe this is true, even if she was 100 or 101. Mrs. R. didn't just push you along the path, as many teachers do today. Instead she made you see your own path and push yourself to the destination. All Dorchester students who went on to become self-sufficient, productive members of our society, regardless of their level of success, owe her a big debt of gratitude. See you on the other side soon, Mrs. R.

  2. Debi (Plachy) FrankAugust 16, 2016 at 12:20 AM

    Mrs. Rasmussen was always my favorite teacher. She was a wonderful teacher who showed not only her passion for teaching but also for her compassion for each child that she taught. She will truly be missed.

  3. I was one of her 4th grade students from the late 60's. The science experiments, the lessons on Nebraska history, reading to us after noon recess, monitoring ourselves to prepare us for the future. We may not have seen it then, but she was laying the path for us to take in adulthood. You have seen so many things in your lifetime that none of us can even imagine. I hope there is a daily journal of your life that will soon be made into a book. God Bless you!

  4. Gee, it's funny how the teachers we all considered the most strict back as kids are today, when we are middle-aged or old adults, our favorites. Mrs. Rasmussen was the nose-to-the-grindstone type who made us see for ourselves all she saw in us.

    What a teacher. What a lady. Glad she was my teacher.


Village Dweller checks all reader comments to determine if they are appropriate for print.