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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.
My condolences to the family of Mr. Pederson. He was an important mentor in my life. He inspired all his students to reach their highest potential. RIP coach.
Jens A Strand Dec 31 2012 12:00 AM
I was saddened to hear of Mr. Pederson's passing. He was a devoted educator, coach and friend. He will always be remembered with admiration. Bless the memory of Ron and Bless his family.
Vernon Thompson Dec 26 2012 12:00 AM
My most sincere condolences to all of Ron's Family. A huge loss for all of us. I do want you as his family to know that "Mr Peterson" was without a doubt my favorite teacher of all times...and besides my parents he was the biggest influnce in my career choice and in the fact that I continured on in Mechanical Engineering at NDSU after PHS. Much of what I have been able to do and accomplish in my life was a direct result of his influnce on me at PHS. He was a great great person and giver rather than a taker to mankind! Amen!
Tom Sparrow Dec 14 2012 12:00 AM
Ron Pederson was a wonderful person, teacher, coach and friend. I believe that I speak for all of his former students at Portland High School when I say that all of us owe him for any successes that we may have had in life. He taught us to be accountable for our decisions and actions. He rewarded us when we gave a good effort and he certainly let us know when we didn't. There was no more effective motivational tool then the LOOK from the coach! He will be missed. Gil.
Gil Rud Dec 12 2012 12:00 AM
Bradley Morrison Dec 11 2012 12:00 AM
Marilyn, Jan, Rod, Mary, and Families, We're truly sorry for the sudden loss of Ronnie. I have so many beautiful memories of him and he'll be greatly missed. He always greeted us with a happy hello when we came back to ND to visit mom and dad. Know we're lifting you all up in praying and that you may find comfort in all those who surround you. Love, Ericka, Ron, Elizabeth, Ashley, Rachel & Alissa Anderson
Ericka (Johnson) Anderson Dec 11 2012 12:00 AM
My condolences to the family and community. I saw Ron this summer for the first time in years and we had a short but wonderful visit. He looked so good and was the same old fun person to talk to. I know the students he taught and the players he coached will always have a special place in their hearts for him. Our thought and prayers are with you all.
Doug Eiken Dec 11 2012 12:00 AM
Dear Mary and the Pederson Family - We are so sorry for your loss. Wish we could be there in person to offer our support, but you are in our hearts and prayers. We did not get the opportunity to know your Dad personally, but from your description he seems such a wonderful man. Wishing you hope and peace and comfort - Maria, Nicholas and Sofie
Maria Baguer, Nicholas Jones, Sofie Jones Dec 11 2012 12:00 AM
Marilyn, we were so sorry to hear of Ron's death. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad time. May God wrap his loving arms around all of you.
Clay and Marie Dunlap Dec 11 2012 12:00 AM
Ron influenced a lot of kids during his teaching and coaching days. I'm one of them. He was a good man.
Tom Wiggen Dec 11 2012 12:00 AM