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Obituary-Donald Rasnic

Donald Eugene Rasnic, age 83, passed away Oct. 12, 2011, at Pioneer Manor, Gillette, Wyo., of natural causes.

Don was born March 11, 1928, in Forest City, Mo., to Ernest and Charlene (Dodge) Rasnic. After graduating from Forest City High School in 1944, he left the family farm and worked a number of jobs in South Dakota and Colorado.

He married Ethel Jean Anderson in Estes Park, Colo., on Dec. 24, 1950. Don was a dairyman in the Loveland, Colo., area until 1956, when he began his career with the Colorado State Patrol. His first assignment was in Pagosa Springs. In 1965, Don was transferred to Sterling, Colo., where he remained until his retirement in 1978. Following retirement, the family returned to Pagosa Springs and Don began a second career in the water well business. Health issues for Ethel compelled them to move closer to family in 2005.

Throughout most of Don’s life, he raised and trained horses and mules. He enjoyed success with thoroughbred race horses, was a sought-after farrier and a good teamster. He loved firearms and was a skilled marksman, hunter and fisherman. Don owned many motorcycles and arrived in Colorado on a 1938 Harley knucklehead. He was a good farmer, stockman, dairyman, lawman, dowser, well driller and pump man. He did many things in his life and did them well. Don was a fine story teller and loved a good joke.

He will be remembered most for being a true gentleman, a good friend, neighbor, husband and father. Don was preceded in death by his wife, Ethel, in January 2011, his parents, and two brothers, Ernest “Junior” Rasnic and Russell “Jim” Rasnic. He is survived by three sons: Donn, of Alliance, Neb., Zane (Rita), of Pagosa Springs, Lyle (Cindy) of Gillette, Wyo., and one daughter, Jean (Brennan) Ladao, of Eureka, Calif. Also, five sisters: Bonnie Scheib, Margaret Sherlock, Dorothy Turner, and Betty Todd, all of St. Joseph, Mo., and Helen Rasnic of Wichita, Kans. Don is also survived by four grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorials are suggested to benefit the Alzheimer’s Foundation and condolences may be sent in Don’s name to Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. 5th St, Gillette, WY 82716 or via the Internet at

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