A Life Lived: Dorothy Rasnick’s life was the ultimate treasure hunt

Published 11:39 am Tuesday, January 2, 2024

BY ROZELLA HARDIN
Editorial Director
rozella.hardin@elizabethton.com
Dorothy Rasnick had a sack full of stories about growing up in Cat Island, the little tight-knit community in the east side of town, which is just a memory now. Dorothy was the last of the “Rusty Six,” a group of Cat Island cousins who hung out together. Dorothy and her “Rusty Six” cousins were best friends. They went to school and church together. She attended the old Duffield School and Elizabethton High School.
She had beautiful memories of summer days playing in the Doe River, and there wasn’t a tree on Main Street she and her cousins didn’t climb.
Dorothy died on Christmas Day at the age of 85. She was the daughter of the late Tom and Birdie Barnett Bradshaw.
Dorothy liked to wheel and deal. She and her husband, the late Howell Rasnick, for a number of years owned and operated Rasnick Flea Market and Antiques. Dorothy dealt in the flea market side of the business, and her husband, the antiques. However, she liked antiques, too. Her flea market business took her to auctions, estate sales, and other flea markets to acquire things to sell. And, for every item she bought and sold, she made a friend. “She and daddy traveled everywhere, selling and buying antiques and flea market stuff,” said her daughter, Susan.
In addition to dealing in antiques and flea market finds, she enjoyed sewing, yo-yo quilting, and spending time with her family. For a number of years she participated in the Woman’s Club Christmas Craft Show at the Park and Rec Building in Black Bottom. She displayed and sold her rag rugs and yo-yo quilts. And, of course, her favorite thing was meeting and talking to friends who visited the show.
Dorothy was a “people” person, who knew a lot of people and she had many friends. Her daughter, Susan, laughed when she said her mother knew everyone in Cat Island, and could tell you a story about every single one of them.
At her funeral, former Cat Islander Bill Peters, who conducted the funeral, shared that Big Lew Garrison had dreams of being a preacher and often would gather the youngsters up on Cat Island and preach to them. He would then baptize them in a big tub or hog trough. “Dorothy was the first one up every time to get baptized…it’s untelling how many times she was baptized by Big Lew,” Peters shared. Of course, Big Lew became a well-known gospel singer instead of a preacher, and Dorothy was truly baptized in the Doe River and was a life-long member of First Free Will Baptist Church.
Susan said her mother also enjoyed cooking. “She made the best steak and gravy, and it was our go-to food on Christmas and Easter. It was not usual for her to fix 40 to 50 pieces of steams at those meals,” she shared. “She also made good potato soup and fried potatoes.”
Dorothy’s life-long friend was her cousin, Peggy Richardson, who died a couple of years ago. “They were like two peas in a pod,” said Susan.
In addition to Susan, Dorothy also had a son, Allen Rasnick, and seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Her only surviving sibling is a brother, Sam Bradshaw.
Dorothy enjoyed listening to music by Bill and Gloria Gaither and loved to hear her friend, Big Lew, sing “Just One Rose Will Do,” and “The Lighthouse.”
Inside the funeral home “In Memoriam” was this little poem: “Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don’t remember me at all.” Susan shared that her mother saw the verse by Laura Ingalls Wilder in a paper several years ago and cut it out. “She told me to make sure it was in her obituary, so I’ve had it on my refrigerator for years.”
Dorothy Rasnick was a rare gem and her life-long journey on earth was pretty much the ultimate treasure hunt. She found and made a lot of treasured friends.
She was laid to rest at Happy Valley Memorial Park.

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