Donald P. Pederson

Celebration of Life Service

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, February, 11, 2023
Christian Community Home in the Community Room
1320 Wisconsin St
Hudson WI, 54016

Donald Penhallegon Pederson, age 96, of Hudson and formerly of Marshfield and Madison, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on January 11, 2023, in Hudson.


Donald (Don) was born on November 22, 1926, to parents Carl and Marian (Penhallegon) Pederson in Geneva, New York. Don was valedictorian of his graduating class from Geneva High School and entered Deep Springs College in California at the age of 16. Because of the urgencies of WWII, he left after one year to join the V-12 Naval Officer Training Program. Don continued his undergraduate studies at Bates College in Maine and then at the University of Rochester in New York, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1946 and went on to obtain his M.S. and M.D. degrees with honors in 1950.

During the Korean war, Don enlisted in the United States Navy and served as a flight surgeon in Pensacola, Florida, and then in Lakehurst, New Jersey. In 1955, he left the Navy to complete a residency in anesthesia at the Mass General Hospital in Boston. This was followed by a year in Copenhagen, Denmark, conducting research on the newly developed halothane anesthetics. Upon his return to Mass General, Don introduced the use of these anesthetics which contributed to the approval of it for medical use throughout the U.S. in 1958.

In 1959 Don joined the Marshfield Clinic as an anesthesiologist where he worked for the next 29 years. Don was known for being a dedicated and compassionate physician who took time to explain operation procedures to patients, bringing them comfort before challenging surgeries.

Don married Marjorie (“Lori”) Lorenz on June 26, 1948, in Melrose, MA. Together they raised five children, teaching them by example to have respect and empathy of others and to be generous with their time, talents, and resources. This included Don and Lori’s work to establish a Unitarian Fellowship in Marshfield in 1964 and travels to developing nations, such as Afghanistan and St. Lucia where Don taught operating room practices to physicians.

Don became an Eagle Scout at 14 and shared his love of the outdoors and wildlife with many. He was an avid bird watcher and traveled to various parts of the world with Lori to add to their list of species encountered. His children remember his wood-working skills and adventures backpacking, bicycling, skiing, and sailing. They loved family games and time around a campfire with their dad playing the harmonica. Don was proud of his Norwegian heritage and each year produced large batches of sandbakkel cookies for family and friends. He was a voracious reader of history, etymology, world and local affairs, and much more.

In his later years Don was sustained by his faith, compassionate care by staff at Pine Ridge Assisted Living, and his family – especially joyful visits with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He finished well.

Don is survived by his children, Julie (Bill) Spielberger, Christine Jacobs, David (Karen Pratt) Pederson, Mark (Alma) Pederson, Stephen (Dawn) Pederson, 16 grandchildren, and many great and great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Lori, in 2003.

A Celebration of Life Service for Don will be held in the Christian Community Home Community Room, 1320 Wisconsin St., Hudson, on February 11, 2023, at 2 p.m.  Memorial offerings may be made in his name to a charity of choice or especially one dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children and families.



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