John R. “Jack” Rasing, age 82, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 28, 2012, at the VA Hospital Community Living Center in Topeka, Kansas with his daughter, Laura Anguiano, and son, Rej Rasing, in attendance. He was born September 19, 1929, to Edward and Laura (Cather) Rasing in Beloit, Kansas, the youngest of three children. He graduated from Beloit High School in 1947 and studied at Bethany Christian College in Salina for a year before enlisting in the Navy. After serving in the Navy, Jack married Teresa “Tara” Auer on January 31, 1954, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Beloit. They made their home together in Lawrence and had five children.
Jack was a barber at the Malls Barber Shop, Lawrence, for many years before his abiding love of the land and interest in real estate encouraged a career change. He greatly enjoyed selling real estate and was involved with a few real estate developments in the community over the years. He ultimately settled in with Realty Executives – Hedges Real Estate in Lawrence and remained an active realtor, never tiring until last October.
Jack’s childhood on the homestead in Beloit included nightly music with his family playing piano, violin and singing together before dinner. He pursued and enjoyed music throughout his life. A Korean War era veteran, Jack served honorably on the battleship USS Missouri in the military band, playing the euphonium. He retained fond memories of English and Italian ports of call but music always remained important to him. He continued to delight family and friends with his ability to play any brass instrument wonderfully. He also played the piano well even up to his last year of life to the enjoyment of all at family events. Jack loved listening to many kinds of music new and old but jazz held a special place in his heart.
Jack loved to read, to tell stories of his childhood and to reminisce. He awed children with tales of his own childhood about topics from being overrun by grasshoppers in the “dirty thirties” to the death of his own father at age fourteen, and being stranded by flood waters with his sister Rachel on the five mile walk home from school. No child forgets his whimsical tale of jumping off the barn using an umbrella for a parachute, only to unceremoniously break his leg. Reminiscing about his return to civilian life, he shared that he should have started that first fish & chips business here when he returned home after the Navy tour took him to England, or followed his heart, ignored nay sayers, and started the first chain of hamburger restaurants in the US.
An avid sportsman, Jack had a deep respect for nature and loved long drives in the country. He had several hunting dogs over the years, nearly all named “Trump.” He enjoyed pheasant hunting in the Beloit area but also was very fond of fishing, anywhere, any time. He managed to go fishing even when other people would have decided there wasn’t enough time. Jack taught his children how to fish and by doing so, taught patience. He will be remembered by many for his kindness, patience and good nature. Beloved by his family, he will be missed by all. The family will honor his stated request to scatter his ashes on the old family homestead south of Beloit.
Jack is preceded in death by both parents and brother, Edward Rasing, as well as a son also named Edward Rasing. He is survived by sister Rachel Lawrence of Riverside, California, former wife, “Tara” of Lawrence, and by his children John Rasing, Jr., Rachelle Rasing Patterson, Laura (JR) Anguiano and Rej Rasing, along with six grandchildren, three great granddaughters and many nieces and nephews.
Family, friends, and others whose lives Jack touched are invited to the Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home at 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, for a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 17th. All are invited for an informal gathering to follow at Jack’s home. The Rasing family would like to extend our gratitude to all the staff at the Topeka VA Hospital Community Living Center for their excellent and loving care.