A weight is lifted

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Anne Rasmus is retirng after 14 years as events manager at the Keizer Heritage Center. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Anne Rasmus is retirng after 14 years as events manager at the Keizer Heritage Center. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

When Anne Rasmus planned a vacation for herself and husband Al for next year, an odd thing happened.

Rasmus didn’t look at her calendar to see what days were not possible due to work.

For 14 years, Rasmus had to schedule trips around events she had to take care of as events manager at the Keizer Heritage Center.

She is officially stepping down from that position at the end of the month. Judy Peterson, president of the Keizer Heritage Foundation, is taking those duties over.

“Before, I would have to check the calendar to see when I could go,” Rasmus said this week. “Now I don’t have to. It’s like a weight has been taken off my shoulders.”

About four months ago Rasmus, 66, started looking at the idea of retiring from a position that included booking meetings, weddings, hosting tours and events at the KHC.

“It just got to the point where I needed to do something on my own,” Rasmus said. “I’ve been volunteering all my life. I’m the second of 12 kids. I’ve been involved with my community since I was a kid. This will be the first time in my life I have time to myself. I finally will have my own life. People ask me what I’m going to do. I don’t know what I will do. I will take it one day at a time.”

Peterson said it was eyeopening getting trained by Rasmus.

“I didn’t realize how big a commitment it was until I started trying to do it,” Peterson said. “She did a wonderful job. I’d like her to come back and do it. I have suggested that when she’s training me. She was totally dedicated to doing it and did an outstanding job.”

Rasmus hadn’t thought about what her daily tasks entailed.

“I didn’t think about it until Judy had that reaction,” Rasmus said. “She knows a lot of people, so I thought it wouldn’t be difficult. When she said it was a lot for one person, I said I guess it is, yes.”

The KHC building, formerly the 1916 school, was moved to its current location in 1996. The building houses the library, museum, art center and meeting space.

“The Keizer Heritage Center has made a difference,” Rasmus said. “It really has become part of the community. Probably what I’m most proud of is when people used the room upstairs for weddings. When they hear 1916 school, they have an idea it’s going to be dark. But it looks nice.”

With Rasmus and her husband both retired, now they have time to complete a goal of spending up to two weeks in each state.

“We have 16 states left,” Rasmus said. “My husband said we’ll have to do two a year now.”

Now, there’s time to do just that.

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