George A. Rasula

  • Born: October 14, 1922
  • Died: December 1, 2019
  • Location: Clemson, South Carolina

Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory

108 Cross Creek Road
Central, SC 29630
Tel. (864) 639-2411

Tribute & Message From The Family

George Arthur Rasula, age 97, died on December 1, 2019 after a brief illness. In his long life, he exhibited many talents (artist, photographer, trombone player, cross-country skier, military historian, sauna builder) but he was primarily and most proudly a soldier and a Finn.  Born in Eveleth, MN to Hilma Sofia Ahonen and George Robert Rasula, he spoke Finnish as a child and participated in activities of the Finnish-American Kalevala Society and the Lutheran church.  He shared his avid interest in Finland with his children and grandchildren, instilling in them the concept of sisu (perseverance or tenacity of purpose), along with a fondness for saunas, braided loaves of pulla, and homemade pasties (meat pies).  

Colonel Rasula enlisted in the Army in December 1942 and began a career in the military, retiring as a Colonel in 1974. His distinguished military combat service encompassed the Pacific theatre in the Second World War, the Korean War and the war in Vietnam. As a career army office, his tours of duty took him and his family to cross-continental and international posts. He also served as logistics advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon (1963-65), and was the U.S. Army attaché to Finland (1968 to 1971). He garnered many medals and honors, with pride of place in his heart going to the Order of the White Rose, bestowed by the government of Finland to heads of state and other dignitaries. 

He was a lifelong learner and obtained his college degrees while in the army and post-retirement. After retiring to Durham, N.H., he studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design and earned an M.A. from the University of New Hampshire. After moving to Clemson, S.C. in 1989 he and Lucy became active members of the University Lutheran Church. He also participated in OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute), giving talks on his military experiences, Finland and life in a mining community in Minnesota. As editor of the Changjin Journal he collected testimonials and perspectives on the Chosin battle in the Korean War. In that capacity he corresponded with hundreds of veterans and military historians, accumulated a unique archive, spoke at military conferences and reunions, and was featured in several documentary films.  He also produced the definitive Chosin Chronology.

George was preceded in death by his wife, Lucy Caroline Davis Rasula, whom he married in 1949 in Japan, where she was serving as an Army RN. He was also preceded in death by his brother William, his sister Ellen Washlesky, and his nephew Jay Rasula. He is survived by his two sons, Jon Davis Rasula of Asheville, N.C. and George Jared Rasula and spouse Suzi Wong of Athens, GA, and their daughters Sonja Rasula and spouse Jon Sager of Los Angeles, CA, and Hilda Rasula and spouse Daryl Brook and their children Desmond Rasula Brook and Sadie Brook Rasula of Los Angeles, CA.  He is also survived by his brother Walter Rasula of Minnetonka, Minnesota, and Walter's daughters Liisa and Lynn in Minnesota, and Lauren and spouse Richard Klement in Blue Mountain, GA. He also leaves behind a multitude of relatives in the Davis, Washlesky and Wong families. 

A memorial service will be held at a later date in Washington, D.C. where he will be interred beside his wife Lucy in Arlington National Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to Jed Rasula c/o University Lutheran Church, 111 Sloan St., Clemson, S.C. 29631. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the University Lutheran Church in Clemson, S.C. or to the Finlandia Foundation in Pasadena, CA. Send a check made payable to Finlandia Foundation National, PO Box 92046, Pasadena, CA 91109-2046.

Condolence & Memory Journal

I knew George through my work in customer service, and had not seen him in a while, only now learning of his passing. He was a lovely gentleman full of stories about his family and his time in the military, and I always looked forward to seeing him walk into my workplace, because I knew we would have a great conversation. I will miss him!

Posted by Emily Rudd - Travelers Rest, SC - Friend   February 17, 2021

George was influential in my life. I met him online after my retirement. He was stepping aside as newsletter editor for the Army Chapter of The Chosin Few and was looking for a replacement. I volunteered, and he subsequently told me I was first on a list of one. George presented me to the Chapter's board at the reunion in Colorado Springs, with his recommendation for me to fill the vacancy in the editorship. With the board's approval, I had the great honor and high privilege to serve as editor for about 14 years. I am, of course, saddened by his passing -- but what a life! I wish him well in his new "assignment" and send my best wishes and condolences to his family. Byron Sims, Korea 1952-53, Salt Lake City, Utah. January 31, 2020.

Posted by J.Byron Sims - Salt Lake Cit, UT - Friend   January 31, 2020

Sorry to learn that George has left us. A great soldier and historian. I will miss him. Ray Radke, Forward CP Group, East of the Reservoir.

Posted by Raymond Radke - Ferndale, WA - Friend   December 21, 2019

George and I shared much about photography and genealogy for the 2006 Rasula family reunion.
I will miss him. He was my mother's cousin.

Posted by Suzanne Akerman - ZIM, MN - Family   December 05, 2019

Great appreciation and respect for George, I will never forget him. He was my friend.

Posted by John Roberts - Clemson, SC - Friend   December 04, 2019

Family Album