Rhonda Sue Rasmussen
Rhonda Sue Ridge Rasmussen, 44, learned September 10 that she had been selected for the transfer to California that she was seeking. Her husband, Floyd, who also works at the Pentagon, said they thought about staying home September 11 to celebrate and plan for their October move, but their sense of duty led them to work. He will go to California alone now, and he won’t have Rhonda to read to him along the way. “She read to me, anything,” Floyd Rasmussen said. “We just started reading Harry Potter; we’d read to each other or she’d read as we drove.”
Floyd Rasmussen was one floor above and one corridor over from where Flight 77 tore into his office building and his life. He said he was able to evacuate immediately and assumed that Rhonda would be able to also. Instead, he spent the day wandering the area calling out her name.
“She sacrificed as much as any soldier in any war,” he said. The Rasmussens, both civilian Army employees, had traveled the globe in their combined 51 years of service. Rhonda, a budget analyst, particularly enjoyed their three stints in Germany, but her favorite place, said Floyd, “was wherever she happened to be with me, and me with her.”
“She had a big smile, sparkling blue eyes,” Rasmussen said. “She was a big woman, big of heart, big smile, willing to listen, laugh at you, put you at ease.”
Rasmussen said he and the couple’s seven children – Nathan, 25, Jeremiah, 24, Thaddaus, 22, Rebekkah, 19, stepchildren Michael, 39, Lisa, 38, and Shawn, 35, have dedicated their lives to her memory. “She is the most important person in our lives,” he said. She is also survived by her mother and three brothers.