Donald Pedersen
Donald Pedersen

Obituary of Donald Edward Pedersen

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Don died peacefully at home surrounded by family at age 95 on February 25, 2023. He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Joan, daughter Peggy Schmidt (John), sons Jim (Kathy), John (Laurie), and Richard (Barbara). His grandchildren are Matt, Ryan, Katie, Erik, Alex, Jenni, Brian, Steven and Kristen. He also has 7 great grandchildren, Dinah, Boone, Ellie, Gavin, Ainsley, Audrey, Cameron and also baby boy Kelly due in June. His sister Donna Fowler is the only surviving sibling. He was born to Earl and Edith Pedersen, June 20, 1927, in Sydney, Montana. He spent his early years fishing along the Yellowstone River with his sister and brothers. He lived in Savage and attended a one room schoolhouse with his teacher, Mrs. Fletcher. At the age of 13 his family moved to Oakland, traveling by train. He attended Herbert Hoover Jr. High and Oakland Tech before joining the navy at age 16. Don was sent to Farragut, Idaho for boot camp and then was assigned to the USS LST #76, and sailed to Naples, Italy, which was his home base. When making the offensive at Anzio, he was the engineer on a landing craft transporting troops to and retrieving the wounded from the beachhead. He also had a gunnery position at the front of the LST craft. After that he sailed back to Oran, Algeria, to prepare for the Allied invasion of Southern France in the late summer of 1944. He was able to visit one of the spots near San Tropez, during a trip to France where he had landed. Upon leaving the navy after 4 years, Don had several jobs before working for Ralston Purina in Oakland, as a millwright. During that time, he met his wife, Joan Oje, while visiting her roommates in Los Gatos. The couple was married in 1957 and lived in the East Bay before moving to Santa Cruz in 1963. They celebrated their 65th anniversary last year. While living in Hayward he became a Building Contractor and formed his construction company, J and J Construction. While visiting friends he was asked to build the new office for Big Creek Lumber. He continued working there for 25 years. Don has had an active life. The family moved to Happy Valley where he built a home on Vine Hill Road. They then moved to Rodeo Gulch where they lived for 14 years and built that home. When the children were married, they sold everything, bought a small RV, and traveled around the US for 6 months. In 1987 they settled in Nevada City and built a home and lived there for 18 years. Don became an avid golfer. During those years they spent the last 4 winters in the California desert. They bought a home at Heritage Palms Country Club and lived there all year for 14 years. In 2014 they moved to Scotts Valley at Spring Lakes Park. Upon retirement the couple traveled throughout the world and the United States. They enjoyed all kinds of trips, especially the river cruises. They traveled in their RV to Alaska during the 50th Anniversary of the highway. They revisited China 3 times and Russia twice. Every trip was special. There will be a graveside service at Oakwood Memorial Park on Paul Sweet Road.
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Donald Pedersen

In Loving Memory

Donald Pedersen

1927 - 2023

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