Storm Lake teachers remember their student, a soldier who died i - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Storm Lake teachers remember their student, a soldier who died in Afghanistan


STORM LAKE, Iowa (KTIV) - Chief Warrant Officer Deric Rasmussen was an artistic, musical, and expressive high school student, according to those who remember him.

So artistic and creative, in fact, that his passion for the regimented, structured life of a military man surprised his former teachers.

"I really never had him pegged, so to speak, as a military person, because he just didn't seem like he had that kind of demeanor. But on the other hand, now that I think about it, his love of history, maybe that would show that he did love all things military," Don Parkhurst, Deric's former American Literature teacher said.

And that passion for history did turn into a military career.

"One thing that I really remember about Deric was, it was why the things happened in history the way that they happened. That was important to him," Jim Nichols, Deric's former History teacher said.

Deric Rasmussen passed away on Sunday, May 11 in Mazar E Sharif, Afghanistan, as a result of a non-combat incident, leaving behind a wife, three children, aged 4, 2, and six weeks, two parents, and a sister. His death came as difficult news to all he knew.

"I had just shared with the kids, my students, three weeks ago that, knock on wood, that I've never had a student lost in a military situation over 36 years of teaching," Jim Nichols said.

In high school, Deric was a state qualifier in speech, and played the trombone in band.

One of his teachers saved some of his writing, and said it was iindicativeof just how creative he really was.

All of his former teachers said he'll truly be missed.

"With the loss of his life, that's another sadness. It is. It's a part of our family that's now gone." Cindy Cone, Deric's former Speech teacher said.

And while Deric Rasmussen's life has been lost, those who knew him say he'll live on in the memories of the lives he touched.

"I never saw him or heard him say a bad thing about another person. Never," Parkhurst said.

"Deric was just one of those kids that you knew was going to be fine," Nichols said.

"He just really seemed to enjoy being around people that he loved," Cone said.

Tuesday night, Deric Rasmussen's wife, parents, and sister traveled to Dover, Deleware, to receive Rasmussen's casket.

One of his best friends from high school, who is currently serving in the military in New Mexico, also flew to Deleware to pay his final respects.

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