Ronald Pederson, 76, passed away Friday, December 7, 2012 at the Northwood Deaconess Health Center in Northwood, ND. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 2:00pm at the Northwood Evangelical Lutheran Church, Northwood, ND. A visitation will be held Monday, December 10, 2012 from 5:00 to 7:00pm with a 7:00pm prayer service at the Bilden Funeral Home, Northwood, ND.
Ronald Merle Pederson was born January 23, 1936 to Hjalmer and Ethel Pederson. He grew up in Hatton, North Dakota with his brother, Hjalmer, Jr. He was confirmed in the St. John Lutheran Church and graduated from Hatton High School as salutatorian in 1954. It was during his young life in Hatton that Ron developed two life-long passions: learning and basketball. Ron went on to study and play basketball at Mayville State College, where he graduated from in 1958. He married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Meldahl at Beaver Creek Lutheran Church on July 13, 1958. Ron and Marilyn followed their passion for education and Ron's passion for basketball to the Portland Public Schools in Portland, North Dakota, where Marilyn taught elementary school and Ron taught high school science and coached boys basketball. He loved teaching and coaching. Highlights of this time in his life were guiding one of his science students to the national science fair and talking his basketball team to the state tournament in 1961. Many of his students maintained a life long connection with Ron. He relished following the details of their lives and their many accomplishments.
Ron had three children, Jan, Rodney, and Mary. Ron and Marilyn moved their young family to Northwood, North Dakota in 1965 so that Ron could take over day to day leadership of the Northwood location of Pederson Implement, a John Deere business started by his father, Hjalmer Pederson, Sr. in Hatton, North Dakota in 1927. While Ron was in charge of the Northwood location, Hjalmer, Jr. oversaw operations at the Hatton location. In 1976, they moved the business to a new location between Hatton and Northwood. The business flourished under Ron's leadership. His son, Rodney, joined the business in 1981. They worked side-by-side, building the business, which grew to include another location in Larimore, ND. He was a compassionate employer who cared deeply about the well being of his employees and customers. He retired from the John Deere business in 2006.
Ron was a dedicated husband and father, always putting the needs of his family before his own. He found great joy in watching his children grow, learn, play sports, and become successful adults. He never missed a game or a performance and was a steady presence in their lives. One of the great pleasures of his life has been being involved in the lives of his eight grandchildren, Tyler, Peder, and RoxAnne DeKrey; Solvay, Linnea, and Tor Metelmann; Madison, and Brodie Pederson. Being retired, he was able to enjoy daily walks to the post office with his young granddaughter, Madison. He shared his passion for learning, sports, especially basketball, and fishing with all of his children and grandchildren and was thrilled to watch them pursue their own passions.
Throughout his life, Ron was committed to his community, being active in the Northwood Evangelical Lutheran Church and many community organizations. He enjoyed watching high school sports and attending UND hockey games. Being a life long learner, he pursued his interest in aviation, obtaining his pilotâs license. He loved nothing more than to take his little Cessna out for a spin over the countryside on a Sunday afternoon. Throughout his life, fishing was an enduring passion of Ron's. One of the great perks of retirement is that he could do a lot more fishing with his son, Rod, and his friends. Ron had many friends which added meaning to his very rich life.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents, Hjalmer, Sr. and Ethel Pederson and his father-in-law, Carl Meldahl. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; his children, Jan DeKrey (Duane) of Pettibone, ND, Rodney (Lori) of Northwood, ND, and Mary Pederson Metelmann (Claye) of Belmont, MA; his eight grandchildren; one brother, Hjalmer, Jr. (Gerladine) of Hatton, ND, and a large extended family.