Obituary of Michiko Rasmussen
(December 9, 1935 - December 15, 2023)
Michiko Rasmussen of Camrose, Alberta, formerly of Toyama, Japan, passed away on Friday, December 15, 2023 at the age of 88 years.
Michiko Ota Rasmussen was born on December 9, 1935 in Fukuno, Japan, which is near Toyama, Japan on the western side of the main island of Honshu. She was the only child of her parents, Tunenori and Yukei Ota.
After the Second World War, she was able to complete primary and secondary school prior to moving to Tokyo for her university studies at a women’s university, Kokunaku University. After graduation, she worked in an office in Tokyo. It was there where she met a young Canadian named Stanley Rasmussen who was working in Japan as a pipe inspector. They soon fell in love and were married in 1972. Both sets of parents were able to attend the wedding which took place in Tokyo.
Michiko and Stanley moved to Canada to the family farm. They continued farming in the Gladstone District for many years.
Michiko was a strong promoter of Japanese culture hosting many Japanese Tea Ceremonies and Ikebana (Japanese Flower Arranging) Workshops. She was also instrumental in arranging for the twinning of the City of Camrose with the Town of Kamifurano, located in the heart of the northern island of Hokkaido. Michiko was the leader of the Camrose/Japan Friendship Society which undertook numerous projects such as the Kamifurano Gardens and the Town Clock. Additionally, with Max Lindstrand, she helped organize and lead five student delegations to Japan and to host even more visiting delegations from Japan. Approximately, three hundred students from Canada and Japan had amazing, culturally enriching experiences due to these exchange visits. She also assisted in recruiting Canadian teachers to move to Kamifurano to assist Japanese students in their quest to learn English.
Michiko loved to shop and her taste in clothing led to her being known as one of the most fashion-conscious people in town.
Michiko and Stanley moved to Camrose in 1998. Michiko passed away peacefully in the early morning of December 15, 2023. She was predeceased by her husband Stanley; her parents; parents-in-law; and numerous aunts and uncles.
She is survived by her sister-in-law, Annette Huseby; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins both in Canada and Japan.
Sayonara and domo arrigato (Goodbye and thank you), Michiko.
A funeral service was held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, December 29, 2023, at the Messiah Lutheran Church, officiated by Rev. Bev Swanson. The service was live-streamed and recorded and can be viewed at the following link: Messiah Church.
If family and friends so desire, memorial contributions in Michiko's memory may be made to the Hegre Lutheran Church or the St. Mary's Hospital Camrose Foundation.