Patti Rasmussen filled in as a reporter and became editor


Patti Rasmussen

Patricia J. Rasmussen began her award-winning journalism career in the 1980s as a reporter, then associate editor, then editor-in-chief, at the Rockton-Roscoe Herald. Patti, as she was affectionately known to family and friends, spent 11 years in Roscoe with her husband Al. When the Rasmussens moved to Green Bay in 1990, Patti became a Special Sections editor for the Green Bay News-Chronicle, which closed in 2005.

Patti Rasmussen, 70, passed away Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, after a decade-long battle with dementia.

During her 33-year career in journalism, Patti eventually worked as an editor, reporter, and columnist for multiple publications across Brown and Door counties in Wisconsin. Patti also became an accomplished columnist. Her favorite topics were quirky anecdotes from daily life (such as her husband's Christmas shopping habits) and her grandchildren’s antics. (More at the Green Bay Press-Gazette).

Patti earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1974 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After she became a newspaper editor, Patti told an interviewer in 1988, "In a way, I think I'm still teaching... Always learning is the part I like most." She won a number of state writing awards, including accolades from the Illinois Press Association for photography and advertising, and later from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. Among the employees at the North Central Associated Publishers, which owned the Herald at the time, she had the reputation for attending the most local government meetings.

Patti was born on Nov. 2, 1951, in Litchfield, Minnesota. She moved to Bloomington, Minnesota in grade school, and then to Wauwatosa, Wisconsin where she graduated from Wauwatosa East High School in 1970. During her college years, Patti became a free spirit, growing into a quiet but fierce advocate for feminism and equality. She said, "I don't think I would be happy being a full-time homemaker" but she was a faithful and vocal fan at her daughters' sports games, "the kind umpires like to throw out of the ballpark."

Patti met the love of her life, Alan Rasmussen, in a chance meeting while they were working for Super America in 1972. They had both traveled to Peshtigo, Wisconsin to help open a new store. Alan was an assistant manager in Two Rivers and Patti was a cashier in Brookfield, Wisconsin. They were married on Sept. 29, 1973. 

In 1978, a week after Patti gave birth to their second daughter, her husband Al became sales manager for North Central Associated Publishers. Within two years, Patti was persuaded to join him at the Herald  -temporarily -  it lasted more than ten years. Al was later named as COO of the company, served as general manager for the Herald, and headed up the Rockton Chamber. The couple was named 1988 Businesspeople of the Year by the Roscoe Businessmen's Association. In 1990, Patti was also a director of Old Settlers Days.

Survivors include husband, Alan; daughters, Rachel (Ron Radunzel) Rasmussen and Karen (Todd) Richmond; granddaughter, Gracelyn Richmond and grandson, Evan Richmond; sisters, Janet Pipkorn and Sue (Bruce) Parmentier; brother, Jeff (Dawn) Harris; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Patti was preceded in death by her parents, Jack and Alice Harris; and brother-in-law, Jim Pipkorn. 

Visitation will be held on Friday, August 19, 2022, at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., Green Bay, WI from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue on Saturday, August 20, 2022, at Christ Community Lutheran Church, 1742 Servant Way, Green Bay, WI from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Memorial service will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the church with Pastor John Sell officiating. 

Special thanks to the Talcott Free Library for providing access to the searchable Herald News Archive, a valuable local history resource dating back to 1877. It was a vital tool in researching some of this article and allowed us to link to Patti's columns, written before links were invented.

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