Our extraordinary mother, Nydia Rasmussen, 91, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away Saturday evening, December 4, 2021, after living a full and vibrant life.\n\nBorn in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina to Rafael Lopez and Luisa Emilia Lespada on September 30, 1930*, she was the oldest surviving daughter, followed by two sisters, Marta and Mabel. Given great trust and love from a very young age, she excelled at whatever she wanted to accomplish. After her schooling in Argentina, she became a hospital administrator at the age of twenty-one, and always enjoyed accounting.\n\nNydia began studying English with missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in her late teens, and that led to her becoming a pioneer in her family in accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ and living her faith. She was the first native female missionary from her area in Argentina, and after serving faithfully, a chain of events occurred which brought her to emigrate to the United States in 1959. The family of one of her dear companions (Opal Atwood [Clarke]) sponsored her to come, and her first home was with them in Spanish Fork, Utah until getting out on her own in Salt Lake City. Being the trailblazer that she is, her sister Marta, and then her parents and sister Mabel, soon followed.\n\nNydia worked for the Translation Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, under Gordon B. Hinckley, and was given the assignment to translate the endowment into Spanish in the upper rooms of the Salt Lake Temple. She always spoke reverently when describing this experience, acknowledging that with her limited English at the time, the words were not her words - they were divinely inspired.\n\nAfter participating in a mission reunion, where she was paired with another former missionary from her mission to dance a Tango exhibition, a romance was born, and Nydia married Wilmer (Bill) Roberts Rasmussen on July 15, 1960 in the Salt Lake Temple, with Apostle Spencer W. Kimball performing the ceremony in Spanish. Over the next six years, they welcomed three children: Shelley Anne, Steven Paul, and Stacey Lynne.\n\nThey settled in the Avenues on “6th” between “K” and “L” in Salt Lake City, until a job opportunity moved them to Sherman Oaks, California in 1967. A year later they moved to a brand-new community called Valencia, and watched their first home there being built.\n\nNydia was a wonderful mother. She was brilliant too. When she wanted to go back to school, she found out that she would have to start from scratch, so she started at College of the Canyons and then went on to San Fernando Valley State College, which later became California State University at Northridge, and eventually earned her Masters Degree with Summa Cum Laude honors. She taught Spanish and Spanish Literature at COC and CSUN. She survived two major earthquakes and is memorialized on a plaque with others at CSUN as being one of the professors who helped keep the school going after the Northridge quake in 1994. From 1985 through 1998, Nydia and Bill also owned as many as three Penguins Place Frozen Yogurt stores in Santa Clarita. It was a family business, and a lot of hard work. In December of 1992, Bill and Nydia “retired” to St. George, Utah, leaving Steve to run the Valencia store. Nydia still had several semesters left to teach at CSUN, so she stayed with Shelley during school, and then went home to Utah in the off-time.\n\nEven after settling in to retirement, she was always busy and engaged. She worked at a paint store, translated for the courts, and taught at Tuacahn High School. Her passion and dedication in her later years has been in her service of indexing records for genealogical research. She was very close to reaching her goal of indexing 500,000 records, most of them from Italy. She was both an indexer and an adjudicator, and surely there are many wonderful and eternal blessings that have and will come from this dedicated service.\n\nAfter Bill passed away in 2002, Mabel moved in with Nydia in St. George, and they enjoyed attending church, temple service, going to concerts, hosting book clubs, cooking, and visiting with family, friends and neighbors. Mabel passed away in 2018, and so then, Nydia enjoyed living on her own, until 2020, when Stacey had a firm spiritual impression that she and her husband, Jeff, should sell their home in California and move into Nydia’s basement. When they asked her about it, she was happy and excited to follow the inspiration from Stacey’s prompting.\n\nJust six weeks ago, the three of them left St. George and moved to Jeff and Stacey’s newly built home in Herriman, Utah, where Nydia had a beautiful “suite” and had somehow managed to cull through and dismantle a lifelong collection of things to fit perfectly in her new space. (Stacey is an amazing daughter and was so patient and helpful in the whole process. Many family and friends were recipients of Nydia personally offering them mementos or items from her home. These gifts are even more sweet now.) Shelley and Steve had come from California to help with the big move. It was a very special time for Mom and her three children to be together for several days, and we will never forget it.\n\nNydia was preceded in death by her parents, husband, sisters, and sister-in-law, Anne Kaelberer. She is survived by her three children, Shelley (Sean) McLaughlin of Valencia, California; Steve Rasmussen of Agua Dulce, California; Stacey (Jeff) Sanders of Herriman, Utah and five grandchildren, Allyson (Aaron) Wood of Sierra Vista, Arizona; Emily (Alex) May of Salt Lake City, Utah; Evan McLaughlin of Valencia, California; Jessica (Boris) Tirado of Herriman, Utah; and Kelsey McLaughlin of Idaho Falls, Idaho and five great-grandchildren, Andrew May, Ethan Wood, Eliana Tirado, Lydia May, and Diana Wood, as well as brother-in-law, R. Craig (Marilyn) Rasmussen, brother-in-law, Bob Kaelberer, and many nieces and nephews.\n\nNydia was amazing and vibrant to the end of this earthly life. She had the most beautiful and wrinkle-free skin and with the softest hands, she touched the lives of many. She was a woman of faith, and character – a mentor, friend, confidant -- and enthusiastic for living life. She loved keeping in contact with her children and grandchildren and being a part of their lives. She would say, “You have to always be progressing!” She never wanted to be a burden to anyone, and we are so happy that when she was called home, it was very quick and peaceful. Her sweetheart, Bill, led her forward into the next chapter of their eternal lives, where we are sure, she is progressing and very busy.\n\nA celebration of life open house will be held at the home of Jeff and Stacey Sanders on Saturday, December 11, 2021 from 3-6 p.m.\n\nA memorial service will be held on January 15, 2022 at 2:00 pm at the Bloomington 3rd Ward building located at 3519 Manzanita Road, St. George, Utah 84790. Interment will follow at the St. George City Cemetery.\n\n*September 30, 1930 was her actual birthdate, but due to getting to the authorities to record her birth late, her legal birthdate was October 1, 1930.