Howard A. Pederson, 89, Pike Lake, Minn., passed away Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022.
Howie was born to Frank and Bertha Pederson the youngest of 7 children; 6 girls and then Howie. He was the 3rd generation of the 1st homesteaders in Pike Lake where his family farmed and made their living off the land. In 1953 Howie enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Korea where he was an instructor and worked with heavy equipment. He was a patriot and proudly flew the American flag outside his home. After his service to our country he returned home and started working at Conwed Corp., in Cloquet.
Howie would meet his future bride Margaret (Janczak) at the dance hall, and married June 15th, 1957. They would go on to have a family and raise their 2 daughters. Throughout the years, Howie built 2 homes for he and his family in Pike Lake, and also helped family and friends build homes for their families. In the mid 70’s he remodeled the original 1902 farmhouse he grew up in as a boy, and that home would remain his home until his passing.
In 1957, after his father Franks retirement, Howie would follow in his footsteps as custodian of Pike Lake Elementary School. He was a rockstar custodian but, also became a friend and confidante, fixed broken toys, bandaged scrapped knees and elbows, lent an ear or gave a wave and a smile to thousands of students, teachers and staff throughout the years. He enjoyed telling stories, and about pranks he would play on the teachers and staff. His stories usually ended in laughter and tears rolling down cheeks. After 33 years as custodian, Howie retired in 1990 to focus on his many interests and hobbies.
Howie could fix anything and he was eager and willing to help anyone. He was an amazing cook and baker, and a gifted, self-taught wood-worker who created many beautiful pieces in his lifetime, and now for his family to treasure. In his 80’s he taught himself the craft of woodturning on a lathe, where he created beautiful bowls and other pieces. He enjoyed family gatherings, fishing trips to Canada and road trips to Maine to see his 2 grandkids; his pride and joy. A special memory of one trip out east to Maine was a successful moose hunt with his grandson. He loved being outdoors, hunting, fishing, using his four-wheeler for projects around the house, or just spending time watching nature. He had great respect for it and was a proud member of the United Northern Sportsmen Club as well as Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.
Howie loved when company stopped by for a visit. He made sure coffee was ready and home baked cookies to share. He was known for his kindness to others, generosity, quick wit, and ability to laugh, even at himself.
Howie is preceded in death by his parents; wife Margaret; five sisters Eleanor Abrahamson, Margaret Scott, Lois Peterson, Arlene Peterson and Betty Hofflin. He is survived by 2 daughters Judy (Alan) Orr of Bath, Michelle Pederson of Duluth, grandchildren Kristin and Michael of Bath, sister Lorraine Hansen of Cloquet and brother-in-law Art Thompson of Esko. Howie also has many special nieces, nephews and cherished friends. We would also like to acknowledge Howie’s fur and feathered, 2 and 4 legged wildlife ‘friends’ who would visit him daily. His favorite times were sitting in his chair at the kitchen table or in his screen house looking out over Pike Lake. He enjoyed when the deer and turkeys would stop by for a snack, and watching the ducks waddle up the driveway from Pike Lake to nibble corn he threw out for them. His fur and feathered friends were known to give him countless hours of entertainment and laughs throughout his years. To know Howie was to love him and he will be missed by all those who had the good fortune to know him.
Visitation is Saturday May 14, 10:00 am, followed by a Celebration of Life with Military Honors, 11:00 am at Sunrise Memorial Park Funeral Home. The Rev. Stephen Wlosinski will officiate. Interment is Sunrise Memorial Park Cemetery.
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