Once in a while an obituary will jump out of the past and
a flood of memories will hit like a ton of bricks. Today (January 14, 2010) was such a
day. The Green Bay paper today had the obit of Peter Hans Rasmussen, Jr. (84) of Summit Lake
up in Langlade County.
Summit Lake is a tiny community of around 500 people, 20 miles straight north
of Antigo, on what was at one time on the main line of the C&NW Ashland
Division. This community is at the beginning of the famous "North Lakes
County" and Summit
Lake is surrounded by many lakes.
Division was pulled up, lock stock and barrel just about 30 years ago, so any
former evidence of a railroad in those parts is long forgotten.
The father of this family, Peter
was the C&NW depot agent and operator at Summit
Lake, seemingly forever, and old Pete lived to be 103 years old,
passing away in 1993. If there was a better known agent/operator on the
C&NW, I have no idea who it may have been. Pete, Sr. was featured on C&NW posters placed in nearly every
building on the C&NW system during World
Pete, Sr. had a big family and had 6 sons; Peter, Jr. is now the last of the sons to die. Nearly all 6
sons served in WW II, which was the theme of the C&NW "war
time" poster featuring the Rasmussen family participating in the war
effort. Pete, Jr.
served in the Navy as a radioman in the Pacific. The twin brother of Peter, Jr. was Paul
Rasmussen, who was a dispatcher in the Green Bay
depot for the Lakeshore Division. Paul
Rasmussen was well known in Green Bay
Pete, Sr., was head of just about everything in the area around Summit
Lake at one time and helped
to develop Summit Lake
into the resort area it is today. Everyone knew Peter Rasmussen and he was a very successful man,
owning quite a bit of prime lake front property, which still remains in
the family today. Peter Jr.,
the last of the sons of Peter,
Sr. was also a telegrapher, agent, supervising agent and supervisor of
station operations on the C&NW. There were also 2 daughters in this
family, totaling 8 children. All of them grew up during the Great Depression in the woods of
northern Wisconsin. To my knowledge, nearly all of the Rasmussen
men were actively involved in the Masonic Lodge. Paul, who lived in Green
Bay, was the organist for the Valley
of Green Bay, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for
decades. Peter, Jr. was a member of Ancient Landmark Masonic Lodge #210 in
The funeral for Peter Rasmussen, Jr. will be on Saturday, January 16, 2010.
Burial will be in Summit Lake.