By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — She died the day before she would have marked 74 years of marriage with the love of her life. Doris Rasmusson was 94 years old when she passed away from COVID-19 last month.

As WCCO found in our Faces of COVID series, Doris was recently able to see her husband’s bravery recognized decades later.

In December, the Rasmusson’s were side-by-side when Doris’s husband Wilton was awarded medals for his service and sacrifice in World War II, parachuting from a plane defending Norway from the Nazis.

Their admiration for each other was captured on camera.

“That’s my wife of 73 years,” Wilton said proudly.

“She always made sure people knew what he did,” Amber Rasmusson remembered about her grandma.

Amber told us their love story started the first day Wilton returned to Minneapolis from war.

“He had a sister or two in this boarding house where my grandma happened to be. Knocked on the door and that was it,” she said.

Doris was a farm girl from South Dakota with a love of horses and travel.

“I always thought of her as a pioneer because she went to school in the ’40s when that wasn’t really a thing,” Amber said.

Doris went to work for the Dayton Hudson corporation and Target before retiring. Her grandma’s words still repeated today.

“You have to work hard. Things will not be handed to you and you need to work for them,” Amber remembers her saying.

Doris suffered from dementia and with COVID-19 concerns, she was kept apart from her husband in their long-term care facility and the rest of her family since March.

“The worst case scenario the nightmare would be one of them to get it,” Amber said getting emotional.

Sadly, at the end of May, Doris did. She died eight days later.

“You can’t celebrate their life like you want to celebrate. You can’t say goodbye to them the way you want to say goodbye to them,” Amber said.

Just seven family members, including her devoted husband, laid her to rest at Fort Snelling. A sad end to a loyal life.

“It’s not fair. This disease is not fair,” Amber said.

If you would like to share any memories of someone you’ve lost to COVID-19, please send an e-mail to tips@wcco.com.

Liz Collin

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