Alysse Suzanne (Funk) Rasmussen, Ph.D, was born Saturday, 16-Jun-1951, in Rockford, Illinois and died Monday, 15-Dec-2014, in Orlando, Florida from a liver dysfunction that had afflicted her over the past year. Funeral arrangements were private, for immediate family only, at the request of her family.
At the time of her death, Alysse worked for the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a Health Educator Consultant, that is, as an outreach specialist. In addition, she was an Adjunct Professor of Education at Valencia College in Orlando, FL.
Alysse was a life-long learner, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics and Spanish from the University of Madison in Madison, Wisconsin in 1978, her Master of Arts degree in Learning & Technology from Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, Utah in 2004, and completing her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics (Dissertation: Assessing Interpreter Intercultural Sensitivity) in 2012, from Union University, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Alysse was also an excellent and dedicated teacher, having taught a variety of linguistic subjects including Spanish, English as a Second Language, American Sign Language, and many others from 1974 until her death. Although she was a part of the hearing community, her main professional interest was focused on teaching teachers of American Sign Language and developing their exposure to DEAF culture. She established and ran the internet list-serv, TeachASL as a resource for those engaged in the endeavor to which she dedicated much of her adult life. After receiving multiple nominations over a 5 year period, she was given the Distinguished Service Award from the Florida American Sign Language Teachers Association (FASLTA), 2007.
In addition to her scholastic and practical workshops which number over 60 items, Alysse authored 4 romance novels: A Night in the Forest, Wishing Star, Twilight Dawn, and Winter’s End in her name or under the pseudonym, Alysse Lemery. These novels were published by Harlequin and Dell in the late 1980’s.
Whether physically in her community or connected to the world over internet, Alysse was active in a wide variety of community endeavors and volunteer work. Her organizational skills, willingness to dig in and tackle any task, and her upbeat, people-oriented personality made her an ideal volunteer who most often end up on the board of directors for the organizations she loved. Most notably, Alysse was heavily involved in: The Friendship Force, (1980 – 2014), Deaf Service Center of Lake & Sumter Counties, Inc. (1990 – 2006), Florida American Sign Language Teachers Association (1990 – 2014), and the Lulu G Lemery Foundation for Arts & Expression, Inc. (2006-2011). The latter was a non-profit art foundation based in Oregon, Wisconsin which she and her sisters started in memory of their mother, Lulu (pronounced: Loo-la), and the love of learning that Lulu instilled in all of her children.
Alysse’s hobbies included genealogy, Chinese, cultural studies, and reading everything that came her way. She utilized the internet for her research as well as her teaching in order to satisfy her craving for knowledge. She decided early on to be happy in life and loved discovering people, their culture and their insights. She was very happily married for 42.5 years to the love of her life, Mr. Daniel L Rasmussen whom she met in college (University of Wisconsin – Platteville, Platteville, Wisconsin).
Alysse is survived by her husband, Daniel L. Rasmussen of Orlando, Florida; her three sisters: Lu-C R. Leisemann of Watertown, WI; Amy D. Sams, Ph.D. of Livermore, CA; and Querida (Q) L. Funck of Oregon, WI; and her nieces and nephews: Jamie (Kunz) McNally, Chelsea Merrigan, Shane Merrigan, Jason Leisemann, and Adam Leisemann all currently in southern Wisconsin.
Published on-line (only) 31-Dec-2014.