Thomas Pedersen

Thomas Edward Pedersen, age 62 of New Richmond, WI, passed away July 28, 2021, on his 42nd wedding anniversary, at Westfields Hospital in New Richmond.  Thomas was born January 21, 1959 in River Falls, WI to Richard and Virginia (Richards) Pedersen.  He graduated from River Falls High School with the Class of 1977.  On July 28, 1979, Tom was united in marriage to Barbara Jo Downs.  Their lives were blessed with four children, Kim, CJ, Kelli and Kristy.

A heart of gold and a passion for helping others, especially those with disabilities and special needs, Tom worked as a caregiver throughout his life.  He cared for others in various nursing homes and group homes, but most recent was Thunder Willow and Aurora Group Homes.  Tom proudly volunteered as a coach with the Special Olympics for many years.  His heart beamed at the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those around him.

Most important to Tom was his family, and his grandchildren were at the top of his list.  The world stopped for Tom and his family at every holiday as it brought great meaning for Tom to truly relish those special times with those he loved.  Tom especially loved Christmas and decorating for the holidays.  He was a great organizer and was always there to lend a hand and make sure those he loved were well taken care of.  He enjoyed camping and playing cards, and winning his card games, even if it meant a bit of cheating had to happen.  He had a great sense of humor and was quite witty, often bringing smiles and laughter to family and friends.  Tom leaves behind a great legacy of always remaining positive and living a life with no regrets.

Tom will remain in the hearts of his loving wife of 42 years, Barb; children, Kim Duden, CJ (Chad) Young, Kelli (Nick) Johnson and Kristy (Timmy) Zezza; grandchildren:  Lily, Breken, Emery, Marissa and Henry Thomas; siblings:  Geraldine (Melvin) Nielsen, Roberta (Richard) Masanz, Peder (Jeanne) Pedersen and Linda (Vern) Sandstrom; sister-in-law, Wendy (Randy) Pederson; along with many dear nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Virginia Pedersen; and mother-in-law, Mary Ann Zinser.

A Memorial Service will take place 11:00 AM Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at Ezekiel Lutheran Church, 202 S. 2nd St., River Falls.  A gathering of family and friends will be held one hour prior to the service at church.  Interment will take place at Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls.  A reception will follow at the River Falls Moose Lodge.  Honoring Tom’s love for Christmas, his family requests you wear your favorite Christmas sweater or attire.

Funeral services are entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Funeral Home of River Falls (715) 425-5644. www.oconnellfuneralservices.com

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