OBITUARY

Russell Frank Raasch

September 4, 1928October 27, 2018

Russell Frank Raasch, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother, passed peacefully in his sleep on October 27, surrounded by family. He will be missed by his loving wife of 66 years, Dorothy Mae (nee’ Bublitz), five children; Vickee (John) Elder of Valdosta, GA, Eric (Kristin) Raasch of Jacksonville, FL, Kathy (Butch) Bryant of Lynchburg, Julie (Terry) Jefferson of Lynchburg, and Alan Raasch of Altavista, seven grandchildren; Angela Henderson (John), Eric Paul Raasch, Jr. (Amy), Sara Raasch, Andrew Jefferson (Jessica), Jessica Spelman (David), Greyson Raasch and Lindsay Raasch, and two great-grandchildren; Ripley Arianna Jefferson and Evelyn Paige Raasch, and his sister, Dorothy Ann Wiggins (Oliver) of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Born September 4, 1928, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Russell was the son of Frank and Selma Raasch. He grew up during the Great Depression helping to tend the family orchard in Milwaukee. He served in the Air Force, enlisting the day after his 18th birthday and trained to be an airplane mechanic. Russell was then transferred to P-80 jet fighter school in the early days of jets; the P-80 was the first used in squadrons. He was assigned to the Fourth Fighter Group, at Andrews Field, Maryland. He also served in the Air Force Reserve during the Korean war in the 336th Fighter Group. He was always proud of his service to his country and the discipline and camaraderie he found there. His service led to his lifelong love of aircraft. In 1952 he married Dorothy and began a career with the federal government. He worked at A.O. Smith for the government in Milwaukee, and continued his career with a move to West Virginia, and then to Virginia in 1960. He spent the rest of his government career in the Naval Nuclear Fuel Division at B&W, Mt. Athos, and retired as Chief of Field Operations after 42 years of service. Russell always remembered meeting Admiral Rickover, known as the Father of the Nuclear Navy, and how the Admiral called him his “bearded inspector”. Upon his retirement, his co-workers remembered Russell as “A Professional, a Gentleman, and a Scholar”. In his retirement, Russell pursued his interests in such diverse areas as visiting historic sites and teaching himself to paint in watercolors and oils. He also restored several sports cars, including his prized Alfa Romeo. He was always an avid reader and for many years could not be beaten at historical trivia. He and Dorothy traveled on many Elderhostel trips, visiting varied areas of the country. He always enjoyed traveling, seeing and learning something new. He greatly valued education and competence. He encouraged his employees and his family to excel in their chosen fields. He was never a social joiner, and was much more a private person, but with his family and circle of friends, he was known for his dry sense of humor and quick wit. He enjoyed spending time with his family and always looked forward to vacation where the entire family could get together, and he could spend more time with his grandchildren. When asked years ago what he would like to be remembered for he answered, “I guess the only thing is the things I got from my parents that I tried to pass down; that you do the best you can for your family, do what’s necessary to support them, instill a love of learning and discipline in your children and you stick with your wife and hope that she’s going to stick with you. You just have to keep doing what you have to do to keep the family going.” He lived up to that belief admirably all his life, with great spirit and quiet happiness. He was proud to be able to provide well for all his family and deservedly so. He will be remembered for his devotion to wife and family, his unfailing sense of humor, and his remarkable strength and integrity. Russell’s family truly appreciates the loving care provided to him by the Runk & Pratt Memory Care staff. A celebration of Russell’s life will be held at Whitten Timberlake Chapel on Saturday, November 3rd from 2-4 pm. Memorials may be made to: Harmony Rescue, Inc. 5292 Browns Mill Rd, Rustburg, VA 24588, or to the Salvation Army. To send online condolences to the family, please visit www.whittentimberlake.com. Whitten Timberlake Chapel is serving the family, (434) 239-0331.

  • FAMILY

  • Russell Frank Raasch, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother, passed peacefully in his sleep on October 27, surrounded by family. He will be missed by his loving wife of 66 years, Dorothy Mae (nee’ Bublitz), five children; Vickee (John) Elder of Valdosta, GA, Eric (Kristin) Raasch of Jacksonville, FL, Kathy (Butch) Bryant of Lynchburg, Julie (Terry) Jefferson of Lynchburg, and Alan Raasch of Altavista, seven grandchildren; Angela Henderson (John), Eric Paul Raasch, Jr. (Amy), Sara Raasch, Andrew Jefferson (Jessica), Jessica Spelman (David), Greyson Raasch and Lindsay Raasch, and two great-grandchildren; Ripley Arianna Jefferson and Evelyn Paige Raasch, and his sister, Dorothy Ann Wiggins (Oliver) of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, November 3, 2018
REMEMBERING

Russell Frank Raasch

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John Elder

November 3, 2018

No man ever treated me better. Even on occasions when he had reason not to. He taught me to love responsibility, dignity, history and martinis. I will always carry his memory and my world is diminished without him. Salute Russ - I was a better man for having known you. John

Cindy & Dale Phelps

November 2, 2018

We are so sorry for your loss. It sounds like he had an interesting and full life. He certainly loved his family. Always remember the good times. Let us know if we can help in any way.
Dale and Cindy

Kathryn Bell

October 31, 2018

Working at Bentley Commons @ Lynchburg I had the opportunity to spend time with Mr. Raasch. I enjoyed our strolls around the grounds and him pointing out birds and foliage to me. Even though he had his own challenges at the time I knew him he was always kind and gracious to me.

My prayers are with the Raasch family.

Jerry Elder

October 29, 2018

We are saddened to learn of Russell's passing. Our deepest sympathies for your loss. May you find comfort & peace in the days to come.

Jerry & Sandy Elder

FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Russell Frank Raasch, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother, passed peacefully in his sleep on October 27, surrounded by family. He will be missed by his loving wife of 66 years, Dorothy Mae (nee’ Bublitz), five children; Vickee (John) Elder of Valdosta, GA, Eric (Kristin) Raasch of Jacksonville, FL, Kathy (Butch) Bryant of Lynchburg, Julie (Terry) Jefferson of Lynchburg, and Alan Raasch of Altavista, seven grandchildren; Angela Henderson (John), Eric Paul Raasch, Jr. (Amy), Sara Raasch, Andrew Jefferson (Jessica), Jessica Spelman (David), Greyson Raasch and Lindsay Raasch, and two great-grandchildren; Ripley Arianna Jefferson and Evelyn Paige Raasch, and his sister, Dorothy Ann Wiggins (Oliver) of Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Born September 4, 1928, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Russell was the son of Frank and Selma Raasch. He grew up during the Great Depression helping to tend the family orchard in Milwaukee. He served in the Air Force, enlisting the day after his 18th birthday and trained to be an airplane mechanic. Russell was then transferred to P-80 jet fighter school in the early days of jets; the P-80 was the first used in squadrons. He was assigned to the Fourth Fighter Group, at Andrews Field, Maryland. He also served in the Air Force Reserve during the Korean war in the 336th Fighter Group. He was always proud of his service to his country and the discipline and camaraderie he found there. His service led to his lifelong love of aircraft.
In 1952 he married Dorothy and began a career with the federal government. He worked at A.O. Smith for the government in Milwaukee, and continued his career with a move to West Virginia, and then to Virginia in 1960. He spent the rest of his government career in the Naval Nuclear Fuel Division at B&W, Mt. Athos, and retired as Chief of Field Operations after 42 years of service. Russell always remembered meeting Admiral Rickover, known as the Father of the Nuclear Navy, and how the Admiral called him his “bearded inspector”. Upon his retirement, his co-workers remembered Russell as “A Professional, a Gentleman, and a Scholar”.
In his retirement, Russell pursued his interests in such diverse areas as visiting historic sites and teaching himself to paint in watercolors and oils. He also restored several sports cars, including his prized Alfa Romeo. He was always an avid reader and for many years could not be beaten at historical trivia. He and Dorothy traveled on many Elderhostel trips, visiting varied areas of the country. He always enjoyed traveling, seeing and learning something new.
He greatly valued education and competence. He encouraged his employees and his family to excel in their chosen fields. He was never a social joiner, and was much more a private person, but with his family and circle of friends, he was known for his dry sense of humor and quick wit. He enjoyed spending time with his family and always looked forward to vacation where the entire family could get together, and he could spend more time with his grandchildren.
When asked years ago what he would like to be remembered for he answered, “I guess the only thing is the things I got from my parents that I tried to pass down; that you do the best you can for your family, do what’s necessary to support them, instill a love of learning and discipline in your children and you stick with your wife and hope that she’s going to stick with you. You just have to keep doing what you have to do to keep the family going.”
He lived up to that belief admirably all his life, with great spirit and quiet happiness. He was proud to be able to provide well for all his family and deservedly so. He will be remembered for his devotion to wife and family, his unfailing sense of humor, and his remarkable strength and integrity.
Russell’s family truly appreciates the loving care provided to him by the Runk & Pratt Memory Care staff.
A celebration of Russell’s life will be held at Whitten Timberlake Chapel on Saturday, November 3rd from 2-4 pm.
Memorials may be made to: Harmony Rescue, Inc. 5292 Browns Mill Rd, Rustburg, VA 24588, or to the Salvation Army.
To send online condolences to the family, please visit www.whittentimberlake.com.
Whitten Timberlake Chapel is serving the family, (434) 239-0331.