75-year old Mike Rask of Gordon, NE, didn’t want a funeral or anyone fussing about him, so his family and friends are instead getting together Saturday, Oct 30, 2021 at 2:00 at the American Legion in Gordon to do what Mike loved – eat, visit, share memories, and tell stories about Mike.
Expressions of sympathy and memorial contributions may be sent to the family at 409 Cambridge Ave., Hot Springs, SD 57747
Michael Niels Rask, proud American and veteran of the Marines, was born to Ray and Leona Rask on June 9, 1946, and passed away October 23, 2021, surrounded by his children.
Mike grew up in Minatare, NE, and Scottsbluff, NE, graduating from Scottsbluff High School in 1964. He was drafted during the Vietnam War at age 19 and proudly served his country from 1966-1972.
Mike received two Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry in recognition of heroic conduct while in combat with the enemy.
He valued his service highly and was honorably discharged at the rank of Staff Sergeant. A true patriot, he then continued to serve his country – changing his branch of service and spending many years in the Army National Guard.
A lifelong baseball fanatic who loved his precious Cubbies, Mike also loved animals great and small, spending time with his loved ones, coaching, bowling, dispensing pearls of wisdom, encouraging his kids to read and educate themselves, and puttering around – and he REALLY loved butterballs.
Mike found retirement to be a blast because he could sleep in and do whatever he wanted, which included growing a beard that was longer than most newborn babies, and becoming obsessed with genealogy.
He wore many hats in life: soldier, welder, postman and banker just to name a few. He loved being “Papa Mike” to big and little kids alike, and his love of others was authentic and infectious.
Mike kept his sense of humor through the last few years of health struggles, even demanding during a hospitalization that the nurse write on his patient board “click the heels of the red shoes 3 times” which she did.
It must have worked because he went home 2 days later. He was one of the good guys and will be missed.
Mike is survived by his siblings, Marvin Rask of New Underwood, SD, Ronda Leedham of Louisburg, KS, and brother in-law Doug McCune of Alliance, NE; his children Matthew Rask of Mesa, AZ, Clayton (Allison) Rask of Hot Springs, SD, Jesse Rask of Gordon, Tina (Phil) Pryor of Crawford, NE, and Kimberley (Jeremy) Wells of Gering NE; grandchildren Laura, Kael, Nathan and Kairi, a host of nieces and nephews, his girlfriend Diane Ehlers, and his many beloved Rask cousins.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, infant son Daniel Joseph, and his sister Vickie McCune.