Gary Bruce Pederson

Gary Bruce Pederson, aka Daddy, was born December 16, 1946 and passed away the morning of March 30, 2019 after having recently been diagnosed with cancer. Gary was born in Fort Monroe, Virginia to John and Ida Pederson. A military family, they moved around quite a bit during Gary’s youth. After graduating high school in Minnesota in 1964, Gary attended Stanford, getting a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 1968.

In 1972, Gary met the love of his life, Ann, at Radio Station KOME in San Jose when they were both registering to vote for the Peace and Freedom Party and she was very pregnant with her oldest, Jennifer. It turned out he and Ann lived in the same neighborhood of Chemeketa Park in the Santa Cruz mountains, and that they had the same birthday, though he was a year older. Ann was married to Bob LeClair then, and Gary became a close family friend. He even rented a room from Ann and Bob for a time and was present when Ann delivered her second child, Aaron.

During those post-college, pre-marriage years, Gary worked a variety of jobs and pursued varied interests, such as calligraphy, candle-making, sandal-making, massage, EST training and seminars (Google it!), and more. He joined the Peace Corps in 1975 and taught computer classes in Ecuador.

He cut his service short after getting engaged to a woman with three kids from Ecuador and returned to the States to find well-paying work in computer programming. By this time, Ann was in the process of divorcing Bob, and she and Gary reconnected as friends. All their friends encouraged them to consider dating one another, and Gary’s EST friends discouraged him from entering a marriage out of pity rather than love, as would be the case with the Ecuadorian woman.

Gary and Ann looked at each other in a new light and began dating. Gary cut off his engagement and Ann finalized her divorce, and they were married on October 29, 1978. A little less than a year later, Amelie was born, and a couple years after that, Stina. The whole family, including Ann’s father Harry, moved to Washington state in 1984 and Gary began working for Intermec, the company he would spend the bulk of his career with.

In Washington, the family lived in a few different places; Bothell, Sultan, the outskirts of Snohomish, the heart of Snohomish, and finally Fobes Hill, Snohomish, on a 2.5 acre plot. Though Daddy was not an animal person, he rarely complained about having many cats (usually around 8), dogs, and eventually, goats. He even learned how to trim the goats’ hooves himself and built a special platform to make the process easier. During this time the family attended First Baptist Church of Snohomish and Gary and Ann were the church youth leaders for a time.

Gary had transitioned to a different company, and when they closed down their Washington branch, he had a choice to be laid off or continue working for the company in Northern Virginia. By this time, 1996, it was just Amelie and Stina still at home, and the family decided it would be an adventure to move to Virginia, where they began attending Mount Olive Baptist Church in Rectortown, VA.

Ultimately he was laid off anyway, and after working for a temp agency for awhile, the family decided it was time to move back to Washington and be close to the young grandbabies that had joined the family via Jennifer and her husband Jeremey, and Aaron and his wife Naomi. Gary returned to WA first to start working for Intermec again in the spring of 2000, but Ann and family stayed in Virginia several more months while the house was being sold.

To fill his time while waiting for the rest of the family, Gary started working as a page at the Everett Public Library. Always an avid reader, this job perfectly suited him, and though he stopped working there after the family was together again, he returned to the position after retiring from Intermec in 2012. Daddy was always reading, and he read to his kids at bedtime throughout their childhoods.

Upon returning to WA, Gary and Ann also decided to return to their Lutheran roots and became active members at Trinity Lutheran Church in Everett. For a time Gary was president of the church council, and he and Ann both sang in the choir. They helped with Senior Lunch and Gary was integral in helping Ann set up a Clothes Closet.

When a group of Sudanese refugee young men were resettled in Everett, Trinity church members helped them adjust to life in the United States. Gary and Ann were very involved in this outreach, and became like parents to one young man, Matthew, in particular, at one point helping and housing him when he was recuperating from surgery. Matthew calls Ann “mom” and liked to call Gary “young man.”

Gary was Ann’s best friend, constant companion, helpmate, and co-nanny to grandson Theo and youngest grandbaby Sophie. Gary and Ann had just celebrated 40 years of marriage and she was there when he took his last breath. He was warm, welcoming, and kind; known to many as a “gentle giant.” He cried at sappy commercials and he was always making an odd joke or reference that took the rest of us a minute to catch onto his wavelength.

Gary is survived by his wife, Ann; siblings Ross, Sara, and Dale; children Jennifer, Aaron, Amelie, Stina, and Matthew; grandkids David, Erin, Liam, Race, Juliann, Theo, Sophie, Lochlan, Luol, Ayak, Nyanluak, Kelei, Mayom, and Thon; and great-grandkid Julian. We miss his quiet strength and loving presence. We miss our Daddy.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Everett on Saturday, April 20th, at 1pm (2324 Lombard Ave, Everett, WA 98201). All are welcome!

In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be made to the Trinity Aid Bank: http://www.trinitylutheraneverett.com/online-donations.html

5 Responses

  1. James Latimer

    Gary was such a great man with a great family as they fellowship with us in Rectortown, Virginia at Mt Olive Baptist Church.

    Ann, God Bless you and your whole family!

    Love, James & Joyce Latimer
    Gainesville, Virginia

  2. Ali

    Heartfelt condolences. May God be with your entire family to strengthen and comfort you during this time of sorrow.
    (Matthew 5:4) Respectfully,

  3. Ray Brown

    That is a great life story for a good and humble man. I’m glad I got to know the Perdersons via their membership at Mount olive Baptist Church. My sincere condolences to the family for the loss of your patriarch. May God continue to comfort, guide and strengthen you in the days ahead. God bless you!

  4. Suzy Wilbur

    Dearest Ann, Amelie and Stina,

    Such a wonderful article about your precious Gary’s life. I can only imagine the loss you are feeling Ann, to lose the sweet love of your life after 40 years of marriage. You are in my prayers, dear one. May you each feel the loving arms of Jesus around you, giving you comfot, strength, hope and His peace that passes understanding.

    With much love,
    Suzy LeClair Wilbur

  5. Brendan

    Love and miss you, Gary. I remember talking with you about genres we especially enjoyed. I don’t think I was ever able to recommend a book in your favorite genre, because you’d read all the ones I had read and then some. Alternate histories. Did you read Kindred? It’s not exactly that genre, but there are similarities. Stina got me to read it. Maybe you’d recommended it to her? I’ll ask her.
    Love you.

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