MAHLON N. RASMUSON
IDAHO FALLS, ID -- Legendary football coach, Mahlon N. Rasmuson, 84, of Idaho Falls, died January 8, 2007, at his home of causes incident to age.
He was born March 5, 1923, in Pleasant Grove, Utah, to Ernest and Velma Larsen Rasmuson. He attended elementary and high school in Provo. In high school, he was a standout in football, basketball, baseball, and track.
After high school, in 1942, he went to Brigham Young University on a football scholarship and played for the first Cougar team to defeat the University of Utah. He was also a member of BYU's basketball team.
In 1943, he left BYU to serve in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. Following his discharge, he married Betty Lundberg in Provo on March 20, 1947. He finished his education at Utah State University, where he resumed his athletic career playing football, basketball, baseball, and track.
His teaching and coaching career began at Tintic High School in Utah. In 1958, he moved to Idaho Falls, where he first taught for four years at O. E. Bell Junior High. From 1962 until 1966, he was at Idaho Falls High School, and then became a member of the faculty of the new Skyline High School in 1966. In 1966 and 1967, he was Skyline's first head basketball coach, compiling a winning record. In 1968, he became Skyline's head football coach, a position he held for 18 years. During that time his teams had just three losing seasons.
In his final coaching year of 1985, he lead the Grizzlies to their first football state championship. Later, he was a charter inductee in the Idaho High School Hall of Fame.
He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His favorite pastime was reading, watching sporting events on television and listening to jazz. He also enjoyed golf.
Survivors include his wife, Betty, of Idaho Falls; and his children, Kary (Tim) Cotter of San Francisco, California; Laury (Brian) Ball of Boulder, Colorado; and Mahlon Bud (Kaylee) Rasmuson of Las Vegas, Nevada. He had five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, January 11, 2007, at Wood Funeral Home (273 N. Ridge). The family will visit with friends on Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and Thursday for one hour prior to the services, both at Wood Funeral Home.
Burial will be at 3 p.m. Friday, January 12, 2007, at the Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Pleasant Grove, Utah, under the direction of Wood Funeral Home.
Condolences sent online:
Betty and family:
Sorry to read of the passing of this great man and football coach.
How could I not recognize that picture in the Salt Lake Tribune obituaries. I have seen that picture numerous times in nightmares of football games long past.
Coach Ras always had a way of inspiring and motivating a student or football player. I remember losing to Nampa in a very close game in the fall of 1970. A fight broke out on the field at the end of the game among players. Coach Ras could always find something positive in every situation. He said the next week in practice that although we lost the game, we did win the fight.
He taught me the true meaning "paying the price" or "gutting it up." Those lessons have remained for many years and passed on to my own children.
My thoughts are with your family at this time.
Steve Carey (Salt Lake City)
Skyline Class of '71
Rasmuson Family and Friends,
I want to express my condolences for your loss. I played football for Coach Ras on his ’77, ’78 and ’79 teams, graduating in the spring of 1980. I still have very fond memories of those times. He was a big influence on me and was very instrumental in my receiving an athletic scholarship to the U of I. I don’t recall ever thanking him for that, which I regret. But I wanted you all to know how special he was and thankful I am for having the opportunity to play for Coach Ras.
Kathy and Terry BurtenshawK
Kary, Betty and family,
Although we cannot be there today we want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers. We are so sorry for your loss and know how much your Dad and husband will be missed. He certainly made a name for himself and will not be forgotten by so many who knew him.
Our sincere sympathy,
Kathy and Terry
Richard & Ann Bigelow
Dear Betty and Family
We just learned this morning of Mahlon passing. The Bigelow Family sends our condolences. Our thoughs are with you at this time.
He was a great Coach and a great friend. We think so often of the happy years in Idaho Falls. Our love and Best thoughts.
I am sorry to learn of the death of my friend, teacher and coach, Mahlon Rasmuson. He was my PE Teacher at O.E. Bell Jr. High and my Basketball Coach the first year of Skyline HS, 1966-67. I have many fond memories of those times with Coach and appreciate his influence on me. I remember that he would stand at one end of the O.E. Bell gym and throw a football as high as the rafters and through the basketball hoop at the other end of the gym - with only a slight grin on his face. I smile when I think of him. He was a great coach and a wonderful man and I feel privileged to have known him. I hope your family will have blessings of peace and comfort during this time.
I am sorry to here to about Mahlon's passing. He was one of the most inspirational leaders to effect my life. I played for him from 1981 through 1983. He was the best coach I have ever had. I am so thankful I received a chance to play for him and share three years with him. Your family should always remember him and be proud of his achievements and his impact on the people around him. He truly built character in many young men and women he came into contact with both as a teacher and as a coach.
All my best,
My deepest sympathies to your family. I wish that I could be there to share my personal thoughts. Coach Ras played a major role in shaping my character as a young man. For that I am eternally grateful.
I am so sorry I did not hear of Coach Ras's passing until this morning (the 11th). My sincere condolences for your loss . . . words ALWAYS are inadequate at times like this, but the words make those of us he impacted so greatly feel better so I appreciate you letting us write. I moved to Idaho Falls at the end of my sophomore year in 1978 and am a much better man for having played football for Coach Ras for two years. Our senior year (the fall of 1979) we only had about 35 players on the team and he taught all of us how to reach deeper physically and emotionally than we thought possible as mere 16 and 17 year old boys . . . . I think he pretty much single handedly instilled in me the will to never quit . . . . he was gifted with such a unique way of being so tough but at the same time you loved him dearly for his toughness. I did not know Ras outside of my experiences at Skyline, but I pray he was half the man to his family that he was to us young men at Skyline . . . . if he was, your loss is great and will never be replaced, again my condolences.
The Boyce Bailey family
Boyce Bailey & Mary (Goin) Bailey
Skyline Class of 1980 - Meridian, Idaho
Newell J. Larsen
I was very sorry to read of Mahlon's passing.
I hope be to his burial in Pleasant Grove.
I'm so very sorry to here about your dad. I respected him as my coach in high school (Skyline Class of '71), but it wasn't until after his retirement that he came to be a good personal friend of mine.
This memorial provided by:
Wood Funeral Home
Idaho Falls, ID