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Odeen "Skee" Rasmussen

Odeen "Skee" Rasmussen, 85, died on Saturday, October 24, 2009, after a prolonged illness at Hans Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip, SD.

He was born at the family farm near Beresford, SD, to August and Martha (Engle) Rasmussen.

He attended Pioneer School, Beresford High School and South Dakota State University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in Agricultural Economics in 1951.

He married Jan Berry on November 4, 1951, in Pierre, SD. After one year on the family farm near Beresford, Skee and Jan moved to Mellette County, Jan's family ranch where they continued to ranch until his death.

Skee was involved in White River United Methodist Church, Masonic Lodge, Shine, a charter member of Lion's Club and RC&D. He served on S.D. Game, Fish & Parks Commission, was chairman of S.D. Stockgrowers Association, helped initiate Bootstraps, served on National Cattleman's Association Board of Directors, member of West River/Lyman-Jones Rural Water board and S.D. Ag Marketing board.

He was also appointed to the National Agricultural Research Extension Education and Economics Advisory board in Washington, D.C. and served four years. He received the following awards: Range Man of the Year 1973, SDSU's Eminent Farmer of the Year 1998, South Dakota Hall of Fame 1999 and SDSU's Friend of the Beef Industry.

Skee's hobbies included music, fishing, hunting and growing tomatoes. His true loves were his family, the 33 Ranch and his involvement with friends in the community. Skee's extended family was immensely important to him. He enjoyed their visits, summer workers, family reunions and grandchildren living close by.

Skee is survived by his wife, Jan, and three children, Kris and Kevin Hachmeister of Custer, Dan and Dawn Rasmussen and Amy and Blake Lehman of Belvidere; seven grandchildren, Jesse Hulett, Briana Hulett, Lewis Hachmeister, Jason Lehman, Laura Rasmussen, Patrick Lehman and Kate Rasmussen; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He is also survived by a sister, Mildred Wevik, and a sister-in-law, Zeora Rasmussen.

Preceding Skee in death were his parents, August and Martha; sisters, Helen and Marie Rasmussen, Delona Johnson; and brothers, Merle, Arley, Don, Wayne and Bill Rasmussen and an infant.

Condolences may be sent to Jan Rasmussen, 24944 Butte Lane, Belvidere, SD 57521.

An evening service will be held at 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 1, at the White River United Methodist Church.

Memorial services will be held on Monday, November 2, at 10 am. in the White River Community Events Center followed by graveside services at the White River cemetery with Pastor Iva Laudermith officiating.

Rush Funeral Home of Philip is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to White River United Methodist Church.