Arnold Omar Pederson (86) died on January 8, 2019, at home due to pancreatic cancer. Most family and friends called him by his middle name, “Omar”. At work, colleagues called him Arnie.
Omar was born August 17, 1932, in Mandan, N.D. to Petter and Clara Pederson. His parents and family moved to Washington State in November 1940, due to effects of the depression and dust bowl. He graduated from Kent Meridian High School in 1950.
In 1951, Omar joined the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict serving on a minesweeper, and was honorably discharged in 1955 as a Seaman 3rd Class. After being discharged, Omar worked at The Boeing Company and attended the University of Washington utilizing the GI Bill. Omar eventually earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Valley City State College in Valley City, ND in November 1968 and a Master of Science in Education Guidance and Counseling from North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND in February 1973.
Omar met his loving wife, Shirley Ball, on a blind date and they married in Kent, WA on November 19, 1955. The blind date was arranged by Jerry Helgeson (Omar’s neighbor) and Ardie Ball (Shirley’s sister). Together, Omar and Shirley raised four children, numerous dogs, cats, parakeets and hamsters.
Omar is survived by his wife of 63 years, Shirley; his children Steve, Sharon Wilson (Warren), and Sue McKay (Scott); 8 grandchildren, Jason Pederson, Adam Pederson, Krissy Davis, Kadie Pederson, Jennifer Wilson, Kirstin Wilson, Alex McKay and Derek McKay; 2 great grandchildren, Haley Davis and Carter Davis; brother Carroll Pederson; brothers-in-law Gordon Keech, Jerry Helgeson ,George Bourbonnie and Ray Haugen; sisters-in-law, Ardie Helgeson, Sharon Bourbonnie, Ruth Ball and Phyllis Ball; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Omar was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters Tootsie Clark and Darlene Keech; brothers-in-law Roger Ball, Russell Ball, Cecil Beba, Jim Clark, Jack Rice and Allen Meyer; sisters-in-law Elaine Beba, Mildred Ball, Marilyn Haugen and Arlyn Rice-Meyer; and his daughter Kimberly Pederson.
Omar loved his family, friends, cars, tractors and The United States of America. We will forever miss his love, kindness, quirky humor, discipline and his love of God and Country.
Remembrances may be made to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research. A memorial service for close family and friends is currently being planned.