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Rasmussen Equipment Founder, Photographer Dies at 72

Thu January 11, 2007 - West Edition
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Richard “Dick” Frank Rasmussen passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack on Friday, Nov. 2, 2007, within hours of returning home from traveling. He was 72.

A successful businessman, gifted athlete, passionate artist, curious world traveler and devoted family man, Rasmussen spent the last three weeks of his life with his loving wife, Jan, enjoying the sights of Eastern Europe and capturing the beauty of the world in his charming photographs.

Affectionately known as “Rass” and “Papa,” Rasmussen was born June 21, 1935, to Frank R. and Dorothy Couch Rasmussen in Salt Lake City. In 1953, he graduated from East High School where he lettered in several varsity sports and was honored as outstanding athlete of the year. He loved sports throughout his life.

Rasmussen attended the University of Utah on a football scholarship and also skied for the ski team. In addition, Rasmussen belonged to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and was a member of the Utah Air National Guard.

He married Jan Jones Nov. 6, 1959, in Las Vegas.

Rasmussen was president of Rasmussen Equipment Company from 1972 to 2007. He was active in the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) and the Associated General Contractors of Utah (AGC).

“The company was founded in 1947 by my grandfather, Frank R. Rasmussen,” Rasmussen’s granddaughter Jody McClain said. “2007 was the 60th year of operation. My dad left the University of Utah to help his father in the business. It was to be temporary. However, he loved working with his father and he loved the construction equipment industry.”

Rasmussen served as office manager, outside salesman and sales manager. Rasmussen held the position of president from 1972 until the time of his death.

“With my grandfather at the helm, Rasmussen Equipment Company has grown to a multi-line dealership,” McClain said. “We have 70 employees and sales toped $30 million last year. He was a great team leader and considered all of his employees part of a great team.”

A talented golfer, Rasmussen was a member of The Country Club and a past president of the Alpine Country Club. He was a life long supporter of the University of Utah athletics.

Rasmussen enjoyed traveling with the Crimson Club to support his Utes at the Fiesta Bowl and the Final Four.

He and his wife, Jan, loved touring the world and relished studying the history of diverse cultures.

For the past 15 years, Rasmussen has published an annual calendar of his photographs to share his sublime vision of the world with friends, family and business associates.

His photographs including a stunning shot of New York’s World Trade Center, taken Sept. 10, 200l, hang in various Salt Lake Buildings such as the Salt Lake County Complex. He donated many fascinating landscape photographs to brighten the hallways at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Rasmussen is survived by his wife Jan, four children, Jody McClain and husband Roger, Julie Reynolds and husband Bob and Richard D. Rasmussen, all of Salt Lake City; David R. Rasmussen and wife Heather of Naperville, Ill.; grandchildren John Rasmussen, Heather and Eric McClain, Alec and Mick Rasmussen and Scott Reynolds; and four step grandchildren, Bobby, Sharee, Jake and Sydney. He was preceded in death by his father and mother and by a sister, Susan.