In Memory of Thomas Pedersen


11:00 am
Tuesday August 3, 2021
Ezekiel Lutheran Church
202 S. 2nd Street
River Falls WI, 54022

Gathering of Family and Friends *LOCATION HAS CHANGED*

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Tuesday August 3, 2021
Ezekiel Lutheran Church
202 S. 2nd Street
River Falls WI, 54022

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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.

Thomas's Tribute Wall

Tributes (6):

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  • So sorry for your loss! I grew up with Tommy’s family and what fun we had! He was so happy all the time!.

  • Tom was a great man and a blessing to our Tom. We will never forget his kindness and care over the years. Our hearts go out to Barb and family.

  • Our hearts go out to Barb and the family. We always saw Tom at Lund:s Hardware and at special Olympic events. He was a true hero with those kids and to everyone who knew how much he loved helping others. He had a heart of gold and s compassion to help others. He always had a smile on his face and was the most positive person I have met. He will be dearly missed. You have our deepest sympathies. May he rest in peace.

  • It’s hard to find the words to say how much Tom will be missed. He was one of the nicest men we ever knew. I so enjoyed sitting by him at Emery’s games and chatting the time away. (Don’t worry Em, we always watched you too!). The greatest gift he gave to us all was his example of how to treat others. Thanks Tom for sharing that gift.
    Much love to the Pedersen family.

  • When I first met Tom I thought no way could someone be this happy all the time. Boy was I wrong this man had a heart of gold and loved deeply for those around him. Normal people count the minutes until they get off work. But in the mornings “For those who work at Thunder Willow or have will understand” I always enjoyed 8am as it was the time I got to laugh with Tom every day! He was such a bright light in this world. He was always the life of the party that everyone always gravitated to no matter where he was. I will forever cherish every moment Tom gifted me as he was truly a GIFT sent from God.

  • As a parent of a disabled adult, we benefited from having Tom and his family, in our lives. What a wonderful, caring person he was. Debbie is devastated by his passing, and we are heartbroken to lose a friend as well as a support person for us. Deepest sympathy and love to all of you. Al, Eileen, and family.