Arnold Pederson, 84Arnold "Pete" Pederson, born January 31, 1927, a man known for his love and dedication to family and quiet generosity, was called to his Lord and Savior on December 11, 2011.
Arnold "Pete" Pederson, born January 31, 1927, a man known for his love and dedication to family and quiet generosity, was called to his Lord and Savior on December 11, 2011.
Pete grew up in Alexandria, raised on a farm by his Norwegian parents with a brother and two sisters. He met his best friend, Madeline “Mado” Buscher, in 5th grade. They were united in marriage on July 2, 1949 in Alexandria.
Pete proudly served his country after high school in WWII and the Korean Conflict. Pete and Mado lived in Minneapolis where Pete attended the Minnesota School of Business.
Following business school, Pete returned to Alexandria, working in the home office of Webb Oil Company. He was given the opportunity to manage a gas station on 12th Street in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was there that he first experienced increased volumes and the opportunity to work for himself. Pete and Mado fell in love with Sioux Falls, but after two years Webb Oil asked them to move to San Antonio, Texas, to manage a group of gas stations, which they did for about a year.
Their Midwest roots and love for Sioux Falls called them back. Western Oil and Fuel with the brand name of Mileage offered an opportunity for their own gas station on West 12th street. Over the years, this humble beginning grew to 25 to 30 stations under the brand names of Mileage, Conoco, Phillips, Kerr McGee, and Pump N Pak.
Pete often wondered if there was a way he could get everything he needed for his stations from one supplier; thus grew his next endeavor of PAM Oil Company, PAM standing for Pete and Mado. This began in 1962, originating out of their garage and becoming a major distributor of oil, antifreeze, Ford/AC Delco parts, and tires to mass merchandisers such as Kmart, Lewis Drug, Target, Walmart, Pamida, etc. PAM Oil had Distribution offices in Sioux Falls, Missoula, Omaha, Fargo, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Denver and Boise.
Pete had several entrepreneur endeavors; i.e. Pederson Construction – Property Management, Business Aviation, and was on the Budget Rent-A-Car National Board of Directors. Pete's secret to success stemmed from his humble beginnings as a kind and humble man with a good business sense. He was organized and dependable. Everyone – his customers and employees – always knew what they could expect. "Systems and Programs – keep all the balls in the air." He was proud of his innovative styles, such as pumping the first gallon of ethanol with Senator Daschle at his Airway Station.
Pete was named by Governor Rounds as 2007 South Dakota Sales and Marketing Executive of the Year. He was highly honored to be recognized in such a way. May 15 is officially declared "Arnold ‘Pete’ Pederson Day" in South Dakota.
He was always appreciative of his family, employees (which he had more than 300 at one point), his major suppliers, his customers and his community. Pete often said, "People have been very good to us … We have so many people to thank for their loyalty and support." He believed that to whom much is given – much is expected. He was generously involved in the community of Sioux Falls: First National Bank of Sioux Falls’ Board of Directors, Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese, O'Gorman Athletic Booster Club, Sioux Falls Youth Baseball, Elks Club, and AAA.
He and Mado have been humble benefactors of the YMCA, Christ the King Catholic Church, O'Gorman High School, St. Mary's Catholic School, the Great Plains Zoo – just to name just a few. Pete was gracious to all he met. His interests throughout life were simple pleasures; enjoying ice cream, washing down the driveway, and spending time with family and friends.
Pete was an avid sportsman; always supportive of Ducks Unlimited, the Bishop's Pheasant Hunt, and Missouri River Preservation for Wildlife. He enjoyed fishing and boating in his classic Chris Craft collection. He was a primary benefactor and fundraiser to the Alexandria Maritime Museum.
Pete was deeply loved by his best friend, partner, and wife of 62 years – Mado; his four children, daughter Nancy (Bruce) Lindberg of St. Paul, daughter Susan Pederson of Bozeman, MT, son Bill (Kimi) Pederson of Salt Lake City, UT, and daughter Julie (Doug) Lindner of Sioux Falls, SD; seven grandchildren, Sarah (Dan) Abdul, Tommy and Peder Billion, Corey Pederson, Tiegen, Bergen and Loegen Lindner; and countless incredibly good friends. Pete died with the knowledge that he was well loved.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Center and Sioux Falls YWCA.
A Mass of Christian Burial service was held Wednesday, December 14 at Christ the King Catholic Church with burial following at St. Michael Cemetery.
Arrangements were with Miller Funeral Home, 507 S. Main Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57104; (605) 336-2640; www.millerfh.com.
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