Margaret L. Pedersen, 95, Kenmare, died Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in a Kenmare hospital.
Margaret was born on Jan. 15, 1919, in Menasha Township, Wis., to Fred and Harriet (Lang) Rasmussen. She was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Oshkosh, Wis. She attended country school and graduated in 1937 from Neenah High School. Following graduation, she worked at the Warren Coe Insurance Agency, Oshkosh. During this time, due to her parents' ill health, she took responsibility for her three younger sisters who then lived with her. During World War II, she was a Red Cross volunteer evenings and weekends at Mercy Hospital in Oshkosh.
On Feb. 14, 1946, Margaret began dating Efraim Pedersen of Kenmare who was in Oshkosh visiting his brothers. They courted for two years before being married on Feb. 14, 1948, at Our Savior's Lutheran, Oshkosh. They moved to the Pedersen homestead north of Kenmare and lived for a number of years in Oshkosh during the winter months.
Prayer life and devotions were central to the lives of both Efraim and Margaret. Her faith was very present in all aspects of her life which was centered on her family immediate family, church family, community life, and global interests. As a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, she devoted time as a vacation Bible school and Sunday school teacher and superintendent. For many years, she prepared the Sunday bulletins and weekly announcements (including this week) and enjoyed being on the altar guild and keeping church records. She was active with the Trinity Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America serving as mission chair. Throughout her life, she constantly looked beyond herself and was mission focused.
Margaret was a vital member of the community and participated in the Kenmare Book Club, Friends of the Kenmare Library, and various Bible studies. She served a couple terms on the Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., board of congregational participants and served as a delegate to the national convention of the American Lutheran Church.
One of Margaret's passions was health care. She spent many years with the Kenmare Hospital Auxiliary and on the Northwest Health Care Foundation Board as secretary. She helped enable the auxiliary to affliliate with the Foundation to operate as a nonprofit. Working with the Sacred Heart Sisters, she actively fundraised for the Kenmare Hospital to remain open in the community.
Margaret enjoyed flower and vegetable gardening and took great pride in her yard on the farm and later in Kenmare. She particularly enjoyed all things pink! Efraim and Margaret moved from the family farm to Kenmare in the fall of 2000.
Over the years she dedicated her life to her whole family. She was very committed, responsible, generous and strong. She deeply loved and cared for each one. This could best be seen in her love and care for Efraim and his health needs.
Margaret loved music, especially piano. She created beautiful counted cross-stitch and embroidery pieces. She had a gift as a letter writer. She also read extensively. Although life became very challenging in later years due to diminished eyesight, she still wrote letters and enjoyed books on tape. In spite of this challenge, she continued to live a full, independent life in her home and graciously accepted help as needed.
Those honored to share in her life are: her children, Michael (Terri) Pedersen, of Vernon Hills, Ill., Janet (Russ) Rhoads, Minot, Mark (Susan) Pedersen, Plymouth, Minn., Jon (Jaclynn) Pedersen, Stillwater, Minn., and Jean Ann (Bryan) Quigley, Kenmare; 11 grandchildren, Elizabeth (Michael) Schwing, Stephen and Christine Pedersen, Sarah (Daniel) Haff, Aaron (Lindsey) Rhoads, Jeffrey, Rachel, Katelyn, David and Maren Pedersen, Trevor (Ann) Quigley; three great-grandchildren, Noah and Mattea Quigley and Abigail Haff; brother, Harley, Oshkosh; and sister, Evelyn Lesch, of Phoenix.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 64 1/2 years, Efraim; her parents; grandson, Benjamin Pedersen; and siblings, Helen, Fredric, Ruth, Earl, and Elaine.
Funeral service: Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at 11 a.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church, rural Kenmare.
Burial: Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Kenmare.
Visitation: Today, Jan. 31, from 2 to 5 p.m., at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Kenmare.
Memorials: The family prefers memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church, Kenmare, or Metigoshe Ministries.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).