Helen Harris Rasmussen


PALMYRA, Va. – Helen Harris Rasmussen, 74, of Palmyra, Va., passed away on June 24, 2019.

Helen was born to Reginald and Mary Elizabeth Harris in Manhattan, N.Y., on April 18, 1945. Her early life was spent in the magical community of Radburn, N.J., where she first met her husband-to-be Richard at the age of 5. An immediate bond was formed. After Richard found a small ring in a garden, their friends pulled them in a shiny red flyer wagon to a local park, where they were first “married.”

Helen and her family moved to Elkin in 1958, where she finished high school and went on to Greensboro College. Throughout the years, Helen and her family spent much time visiting their extended family in Roxboro, where Helen’s parents were originally from and later retired. Helen and Richard were reunited in 1963, while Richard was attending the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Once again that initial inseparable bond was reestablished. Soon another ring was acquired, and Helen and Richard were officially married on July 13, 1968. They later welcomed sons Lee and Reid and together spent many happy years in Clarksville and Richmond, Va. before Helen and Richard moved to Mathews, Va., where they spent many years enjoying the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay.

Helen’s friends remember her love of playing bridge and Trivial Pursuit and fondly recall that she was always the life of the party. And no party was complete without her coveted carrot cake. Her life was further enriched by the arrival of her grandchildren, with whom she shared her infectious laughter, many tea parties and games, and her love of gardening and bird watching. She also had a lifelong affection for dachshunds and loved many over the years, including Hans, Strudel, Heidi and Bismarck.

Helen is survived by Richard, her husband of almost 51 years; her son Lee, his wife Elee, and their children Katie and Claire of Charlottesville, Va.; her son Reid, his wife Lori, and their children Foster, Emmett, and Amelia of Montgomery, Ala.; her brother Reg Harris and his wife JoAnn, of Raleigh, and their son Chip of Flowery Branch, Ga.; her sister-in-law Jenny Metcalfe of Salt Lake City, Utah; and a host of extended cousins and family.

Funeral services will be held Sept. 7, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. at Long Memorial United Methodist Church in Roxboro, with arrangements handled by Brooks & White. A celebration of Helen’s life will be held later that day with details to be announced. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to RVA Aphasia Group (checks only) – provide notation that the donation is being made in memory of Helen Rasmussen and mail to RVA Aphasia Group, 1602 Hearthglow Lane, Richmond, VA 23238; the National Aphasia Association (aphasia.org); or Dachshund Rescue of North America (DRNA.org).


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