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Richard L. "Rick" Pederson

Richard L. "Rick" Pederson

Dec. 17, 1951 - Feb. 13, 2013

SPICER - Richard L. “Rick” Pederson, 61, of Spicer, died Wednesday, February 13th at Bethesda Pleasantview in Willmar after a short but intense struggle with pancreatic cancer. His funeral will be 11:00 am, Tuesday, February 19th at Faith Lutheran Church in Spicer. Interment of Rick’s ashes will be in the spring at the Spicer City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-7 pm, Monday at the church and continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. Arrangements are with Johnson Funeral Home in New London,

Richard “Rick” was born on December 17, 1951, the son of Albert and Eleanore (Monson) Pederson. He grew up on a small farm, homesteaded by his great-grandparents, near Spicer in a family that valued family, faith, education and the land. Throughout Rick’s life he had a strong connection to his parents, grandparents, brothers, cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts and uncles, and his beloved son, Eric. We were blessed to know him as a great son, brother, cousin, uncle and father.

Rick graduated from New London-Spicer High School in 1969. He then attended Augsburg College for two years before completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota in the Honors Psychology program. Rick subsequently completed graduate work in Educational Psychology at the University of Utah and soon after began a thirty-four year career as a school psychologist with the SW/WC Education Service Cooperative where he worked up until the last month of his life.

Rick worked with many school districts in the area but spent a great deal of time in the Willmar, ACGC, KMS and CMCS districts. Rick’s co-workers described him as a very smart, gentle and caring advocate for the students and families that he served. Rick was blessed to have many close friends as his colleagues.

Rick was a person of many interests but most notably enjoyed helping others, caring for the family homestead, playing music with his buddies in the Fringe Band, sailing, and spending time with his son, Eric. He planted hundreds of black walnut trees on the farm, built a passive solar shop/studio at the farm, worked with brother Dave to renovate a cottage (Pearl’s Harbor) on Green Lake and along the way collected many musical instruments, countless songs and almost as many friends.

Rick leaves us with many great memories and stories: including some youthful adventures such as hitchhiking to the tip of the Yucatan Penninsula in Mexico, hopping a freight train to visit his brothers in Utah, studying in Norway and Europe, as well as climbing, rafting and skiing adventures.

Rick was married to Janet Felton from 1987 until 2001. He was active in Peace Lutheran Church during Eric’s youth and served as a Cub Scout leader and confirmation guide with a knack for connecting with each individual in his care.

He was preceded in death by his father, Albert.

Surviving are his son, Eric of Minneapolis; mother, Eleanore Pederson of Spicer; brothers, Paul of North Pole, AK; and Dave (and Ruth Fairchild) of Spicer as well as a wonderful group of cousins, aunts, nieces and nephews.

We cherish the memory of Rick Pederson. May he rest in peace.