In loving memory: Jon Russell Pederson

Jon Russell Pederson, July 5, 1930 – August 29, 2019

John Pederson

Photo courtesy of Norway House
John Russell Pederson, “Mr. Norway House,” was often described as “larger than life.”

Jon R. Pederson, age 69, of Spicer, died unexpectedly Thursday afternoon, Aug. 29, in Osseo.

Jon Russell Pederson was born July 5, 1950 to Mildred (Wagner) and Russell G. Pederson of Raymond. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church and graduated from Raymond High School in 1968. To his great pride he attended Concordia College in Moorhead until enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1970.

Upon his discharge, he returned to graduate from Concordia, followed by graduate studies at North Dakota State University. On May 15, 1978, he married Sophie Cropsal in Willmar and began his lifelong career at Ruffridge-Johnson Equipment Company in Minneapolis.

At the time of his death, he was the CEO of Ruffridge-Johnson Equipment Company, a member of the Concordia College Language Villages National Advisory Board, a member and former Commander of the Raymond American Legion Post 420, an active Scout and director on the Northern Star Council Board, and on the Board of Directors and former Board Chairman for Norway House. He was also an active member of Mindekirken, the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church.

Jon R. Pederson was often described as “larger than life”. He touched all our hearts and to know him was to love him. He is survived by his wife, Sophie; two daughters, Celine (and Eric) Kronback of Shoreview, Minnesota; Adele (and David) Edwards of London, England; one son, Joseph (and Helena) Pederson of Malta, New York; three grandchildren: Otelia and Guy Edwards, and Hazel Pederson. Also surviving is a sister, Debra Pederson of Chassell, Michigan along with many relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters, Kathleen and Constance.

In lieu of flowers, family suggests memorial donations may be made to the following organizations: Concordia College Language Villages, Norway House, or the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America.

A Celebration of Life Service was held on Sept. 5 at Faith Lutheran Church in Spicer, with a private interment at Fairview Cemetery in Raymond.

The Norwegian community will hold a special memorial service and reception for their beloved friend and patron Jon R. Pederson at Mindekirken and Norway House, 924 E. 21st St./913 E. Franklin Ave., on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 3 p.m. Visit their website for details:

Modified from the Minneapolis StarTribune, published September 2, 2019.

This article originally appeared in the September 20, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.