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Jane Rasmussen

May 11, 1933 March 9, 2017
Jane Rasmussen
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Obituary for Jane Rasmussen

Jane Alsfeld Rasmussen, 83, of Wilton, New Hampshire died at the Crestwood Nursing Center in Milford, New Hampshire, after a valiant struggle against the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. She was born on May 11, 1933, in Nashua, New Hampshire, to Raymond LaPonsie and Deborah Wilcox LaPonsie. She spent her childhood in Wilton and Lyndeborough and graduated as salutatorian of Wilton High School’s class of 1951. She went on to attend Pembroke College in Providence, Rhode Island (the sister school of Brown University) where she graduated with a degree in American Studies in 1955. She received her Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Rhode Island.
She married Vincent L. Alsfeld, a college classmate, on September 9, 1955, and together they had five children: Michele, Michael, Timothy, Thomas, and Justina. Jane and Vincent first lived in Detroit, Michigan, and then in Cranston, Rhode Island, before returning to New Hampshire in 1968 to take care of her ailing parents. Upon her return to Wilton, she served as the Library Director of the Wilton Public and Gregg Free Library for twenty-eight years. At her retirement celebration, she was described by a trustee as “a town hero…who gracefully handled the public and was still smiling at the end of each day.” During her time at the library she expanded the children’s collection, oversaw the efforts to make the library handicapped accessible, and computerized the library systems. She was an active member of the “Hillstown Group” of librarians from the Hillsborough region who helped invigorate cooperation among the area libraries. Her ultimate praise for a friend was: “They are a good reader!”
Despite her many obligations, Jane never missed an event for her children: cheering for them at basketball games, track events, and plays. She shared with them her love of reading and encouraged them to excel in school. She, herself, was a talented athlete and loved playing and watching sports.
After the death of her husband Vincent in 1992, Jane joined a local group called The Adventurers, people who had lost spouses and were interested in travel. She enjoyed the dinners and get-togethers with the group. She made great friends and traveled the world with them visiting Turkey, Thailand, Peru, China and other far-flung places.
In 2000, she married her second husband, Richard Rasmussen, to whom she was a devoted wife for seventeen years.
She loved to read, garden, and travel. With age and her increasing disabilities, she was not able to participate in these beloved activities, but she never complained about what she couldn’t do and remained positive about life to the very end. She was interested in what was going on in the world and what her friends were doing. She was intellectually curious and had a quick wit. She loved to laugh and have a nice glass of wine. She tried to see the best in everyone and everything around her.
She was predeceased by her sons Michael and Thomas. She will be much missed by her husband, Richard Rasmussen; her daughters, Michele Volpe and Justina McGettigan; her grandchildren, Matthew Alsfeld, Jenna Alsfeld, Greta Alsfeld, Elysia Volpe, and Julia McGettigan; her sons-in-law, Eufrasio Volpe and John McGettigan; her sister, Nancy Paragamian; and her cousins and close friends. The family is planning a celebration of her life in May, 2017 at the Second Congregational Church. Condolences to the family can be sent to the Michaud Funeral Home, Wilton, NH. Donations can be made in her name to the Wilton Public and Gregg Free Library, Meals on Wheels, the MS Society or a charity of your choice.

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