In Memory

Steve Pedersen

Steve Pedersen

Steven Martin Pedersen 
September 14, 1948 ~ October 27, 2011

Married in May 1970. Wife Joyce. 41 years.
Children: daughter Megan, and sons Ryan, and Kevin.
(Ryan passed away at age 10)

Notes to classmates: 
At Steve's visitation and funeral his son and daughter conveyed that the family, in guarding his widow's privacy and security, had decided against publishing a public obituary. Please do keep that in mind and restrict the memoriam below to this reunion web site.

Steve's birthday is an educated guess based on lack of an obituary and a recollection that his birthday was the first date drawn in the initial Viet Nam draft lottery. His draft number was 1, but he was not able to serve due to his high foot arches that as you may recall made it very difficult for him to run. Also his birth year may have been 1947. What is posted below is from best memory and conversations with his family.

Following graduation from Shawnee Mission West, Steve along with friends from both SMW as well as Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church studied at Emporia State University.  Steve earned his degree in 1970.  While studying at Emporia State Steve was a member of Phi Sigma Epsilon social fraternity along with fellow 1966 SMW graduates Jim Walsh and Frank Patton.  Steve was active at Emporia State in singing and theater clubs.  Steve loved to use his wonderful voice, and he can still be heard on Main Street in Emporia belting out the opening verses of songs by the Monkees and Jay and the Americans during walks back to campus after a few beers and games of pool.

Following his father Kenneth's footsteps, Steve enjoyed a business career spanning over 30 years with The Gillette Safety Razor Company. His career started in 1969 as a summer intern for Gillette's Papermate Pen Division, and continued after graduation with the Gillette Safety Razor Division as a field sales representative in the Chicago area. His career later included stops in Ohio and Michigan before landing him in Gillette's home office in Boston. In his positions there he managed Gillette sales promotions, product education and training programs for Gillette's field sales force, and retail incentive programs.  Late in his career his health issues took him to a less demanding role in Richmond, Virginia, managing the sales and distribution of Gillette's products to military accounts. He held those responsibilities up until his full retirement. 

During his years in the Boston area, Steve and Joyce and family lived in the suburb of Franklin, Massachusetts.  During those years Steve, (a converted Presbyterian) was deeply involved in Franklin's historic St Mary's Catholic Parish, long famous for its renoun music ministries and youth groups, and was active in local music and theatrical performances. The adult choir that provided the highly inspirational music featured at his funeral mass at St Mary’s was made up of many earlier members of the youth and teen choirs Steve had fostered and supported. Fittingly the most moving tribute to Steve was their performance during the mass of the gospel hymn "How Can I Keep from Singing?"  His daughter, Megan, and son, Kevin, both characterized Steve as a rabid Boston sports fan who loved his Red Sox, Bruins, and Patriots.

Steve suffered from an hereditary heart condition that took his father at an even earlier age. Steve had an innovative but experimental cardiac surgery somewhere between 2000 and 2002 that was expected to extend his life another five years from that date. He well outlived that expectation. But as his condition later deteriorated in 2010 and 2011, Steve, according to his long time best friend, declined additional treatment he considered harsh and futile as he neared his death. 

Steve was laid to rest in Franklin next to his son Ryan.   (Written by Frank Patton)

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03/28/16 10:59 AM #1    

Frank Patton

Photo of Steve Pedersen at the microphone of fraternity based band at Emporia State in 1967 or 1968. I was the sound guy. In addition to appearances at Emporia this band appeared from Pittsburg State, to Hays, Kansas, to Hastings, Nebraska, and points in between.  Photo courtesy of Jim Albertson (SMN '66)

03/28/16 05:25 PM #2    

Karen Lyerla

Steve and Paula Lanyon Lubert Prom '66 Japanese Gardens

03/30/16 11:42 PM #3    

Vicki Mixon (Papa)

Steve's birthday was Sept. 7, 1948.  His birthday  was actually Labor Day that year....he always found that quite funny...not sure his Mom agreed.


04/02/16 11:37 AM #4    

Carol Cavagnol (Sullivan)

Steve and I reconnectd on FB just as everyone was finding old friends...challenged each other to MANY Scrabble games after that while sharing stories and memories from high school. He told me of his pending surgery and I wished him well, even as he said he probably wouldn't be able to play much Scrabble due to his limited energy. I was so sad to hear of his passing not long after, but was glad we had a chance to "laugh again" about old times at SMWest...

05/08/16 03:02 PM #5    

Marsha Rhoads (Killian)

I never thought I'd be living in a world without Steve Pedersen in it.   

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