Lifelong Alaskan ELMER E. RASMUSON died Dec. 1, 2000, in Seattle. His wife and three children were at his side. A service was held at First Presbyterian Church, 616 W. 10th Ave. A reception was at The Hilton Anchorage.
Born Feb. 15, 1909, in Yakutat to Swedish missionaries Edward A. and Jenny Rasmuson, he attended Alaska public schools and graduated from a Seattle high school in 1925. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1930, receiving an master's degree in 1935. Honorary degrees were received from the University of Alaska and Alaska Pacific University. He started his career with National Bank of Alaska as a janitor and managed the Skagway branch at age 17. After college he was chief accountant for National Investors Corp. in New York City and later a principal with Arthur Andersen and Co. He succeeded his father as president of NBA in 1943. He later served as chairman, retiring as director emeritus in 1989. Mr. Rasmuson was a member of the Anchorage City Council in 1945. He served as a University of Alaska Regent, 1950-69, and president, 1956-69. He was Swedish Consul for Alaska, 1955-77, and knighted by the King of Sweden in 1965. He was Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, 1959-67, receiving the Outstanding Civilian medal. He served as Anchorage mayor, 1964-1967, and was Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, 1968. He was commissioner, International North Pacific Fisheries Commission, 1969-84, and chairman, North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 1976-77. He was Alaska State Chamber ''Man of the Year,'' 1974, and ''Alaskan of the Year,'' 1976. He was the first chairman of the Alaska Permanent Fund, 1980-82, and a member of U.S. Arctic Research Commission, 1985-92. He was a board member, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institute, since 1994. The Alaska Federation of Natives awarded him the ''Denali Award'' in 1998. He was an Anchorage Rotary Club member, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce director, and president of the Alaska Bankers Association, Alaska Council Boy Scouts and the Rasmuson Foundation. He was founder and supporter of the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, receiving the 2000 Medal of Philanthropy from the American Association of Museums.
Mr. Rasmuson is survived by his wife of 39 years, Mary Louise; son and daughter-in-law, Ed and Cathy; daughters and sons-in-law, Lile and John Gibbons and Judy Rasmuson and Ron Wallace; grandchildren, Natasha von Imhof, Laura Rasmuson, David Rasmuson, Jay Gibbons, Adam Gibbons, Jenny Gibbons and Amanda Gibbons; great-grandchildren, Liesel, Tanner, Alex, Scott and Tomas; and niece, Elaine Atwood. His first wife, the former Lile Bernard, died in 1960. Memorial donations may be made to the charity of the donor's choice. Evergreen Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.