Anton Rasmussen, Jr. grew up in the Hi-Line near Glasgow, Montana, the son of immigrant Danish homesteaders.
In 1943, during his junior year at Glasgow High, unhappy with one of his teachers, he put a bullsnake in her desk drawer. That resulted in his expulsion. A judge gave him the choice of either reform school or enlisting in the military. He chose the military, and joined the Marines the next day.
After boot camp he became a forward observer, or spotter, responsible for directing artillery. He fought in the South Pacific going from island to island. It wasn’t long before he found himself with thousands of other soldiers in the landing at Iwo Jima. It was one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. He was wounded, but unlike many of his comrades, survived to come home.
After the war, he traveled to Deer Park where he had family. He attended and graduated from Eastern Washington College. There, he was an all-star offensive end on Eastern’s football team. Later, his 1950 team was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.
After college, “Ras” became head football coach at Chewelah High. After three highly successful years, he took the head coaching position at Central Valley, succeeding the legendary Sig T. Hansen.
He coached football at CV from 1954 through 1961. While not having the same success as at Chewelah, he won the respect of his players. In 1962 he became Vice Principal, a post in which he served until 1981. He is honored on the school’s Wall of Fame.
From his hardscrabble beginnings, “Ras” went on to become a mentor to countless young men and women over the years. At his recent memorial service, both the CV fight song and the Marine Corps Hymn had a prominent place in the service.