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Oscar Milton Pederson
Oscar Pederson, age 91, of Alexandria MN passed away September 17th at his home surrounded by his children and his wife of 64 years, Pat.
Oscar was born on a farm near Louisburg, MN on May 30, 1927. He was the son of Oscar Sr. and Marie (Heglund) Pederson. He was the third oldest of their 8 children. Maybe more importantly, he was the first-born son, a much-needed farm hand in the days of the Dust Bowl and Depression
He served in the Navy at the end of WWII, enlisting at 17 years of age. He was steaming to the Philippines in preparation for the invasion of Japan when the war ended. He proudly sang in the Great Lakes Navy Choir and spent 2 years at the University of MN agriculture school. While there, he was an exchange student to Sweden. Just last April, Oscar traveled with his son, Steve, and 87 WWII and Korean vets on an Honor Flight to visit the memorials in Washington D.C.
Oscar was united in marriage to Pat (Lembke) Pederson in 1954 and had 3 children, Steve, Paul and Amy. Oscar is survived by Pat and their 3 kids, 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
If you knew Oscar, you knew how proud he was of his Norwegian heritage. On the farm, the family only spoke Norwegian until the kids started school at a one room school house. Oscar was famous for his love of anything Norwegian and was a devout and enthusiastic consumer of lutefisk. He loved making lefse, working on his rosemaling, and drinking aquavit - (reminding everyone that there is no clinking of glasses, just “look ‘em in the eyes” and earnestly say “Skol”). He and Pat made several trips to visit Norway over the years and maintained relationships with friends and family there.
Oscar was a singer, a proud 2nd bass who convinced his wife more than once to direct the choirs he sang in. They both sang in church choirs wherever they lived, Gaylord, Madison, Willmar, Marshall and Park Rapids, and Pat directed most of them. Oscar loved barbershop and Men’s Chorus music. Pat directed the Marshall Area Men’s Chorus for 25 years and Oscar sang from the backrow, 2nd from the left for every concert. He loved singing in the Classic Chorale in Park Rapids and both he and Pat made great life-long friends through their shared love of music.
He was one of those people you didn’t soon forget. He became great friends with dozens of veterinarians as a salesman for ConAgra/SeeCo during his 30 years selling. He loved (and expected) hugs from all females regardless of age. He was a best friend to many guys of all ages over the years and enjoyed singing in quartets, fishing and hunting with them. Over the years, he became a second Dad or grandparent to so many…
Oscar lived a full and rich life with his wife Pat and together they cherished sharing their retirement home on Long Lake with family and friends for over 26 years. He would have liked to say “Takk for Alt” (Norwegian for “thanks for everything), to everyone who was a part of his life.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 PM on Sunday, October 7, 2018 at Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at the Riverside United Methodist Church Columbarium. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Hospice of Douglas County or RUMC Memorial Garden.