Richard "Dick" Jerome Pedersen, 82, of Richland, Oregon passed away at his residence on March 19, 2018. A Celebration of Life will be held at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel on March 24, 2018, beginning at 1:00 PM with a family friend Ed Bowman officiating the service.
On March 16, 1936 Richard Pedersen, the oldest of five children, was born to Arnold Pedersen and Edna (Stutzman) Pedersen in Pendleton, Oregon. This ‘brace’ of four boys and one girl were raised on a rural dairy farm where they learned early the responsibility of hard work and devotion to the warmth of the family that they loved.
Dick attended Oregon City High School, graduating in 1954. In 1959, he married Audrie Mascrick of Sandpoint, Idaho. Together they had two children, Diane and Matthew. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1961 to 1963 as a Weapon Control Systems Mechanic at the rank of Staff Sergeant. After military time, Dick headed back to school. He attended Oregon State University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Wildlife Management and Master of Science Degree in Game Management and was soon an advisor and supervisor for the U.S. Department of Forestry. In 1986, Dick furthered his already stellar education accomplishments with a hard earned Doctor of Philosophy Forestry Wildlife Range Science Degree from the University of Idaho.
Many award certificates adorn the walls of Dick’s life. He was cited for outstanding work in the development of tree and wildlife management and compiled reams of ‘in the field’ studies and documents that remain in volumes as certain forestry protocol used today. A high point in his career was to receive the coveted Jack Adams Award for his outstanding work in perfecting the direction of better land management.
After Audrie’s death in 1991, Dick married Ruth Brown of Tigard, Oregon in 1993. Dick and Ruth pursued many shared interests, including business, community service, participation in their local church, and giving love and support to their combined families. Together they were an unstoppable team, loved and respected by all who knew them.
Dick and Ruth moved to Richland, Oregon a few years after his retirement in April of 1996. They bought a home there and were welcomed to that small town in Eagle Valley 40 miles east of Baker City. Dick was voted into the position of the Mayor of Richland, serving two terms until his passing just days ago.
Dick was an avid outdoorsman, with a particular passion for the northwest elk herds. He exerted his deep concerns for greater hunter’s responsibility in the field and was quick to hold government to support programs that would strengthen failing herds of animals.
He served as president of the OSA and Tri-County Gun Club of Salem and Sherwood, Oregon. Dick was a life member of the Girl Scouts of America. He would chuckle when he would produce the proof that he was a girl scout…that was Dick at his best! He was also board director of Eagle Valley Rural Fire Protection District.
Dick is survived by his wife, Ruth Pedersen of Richland, Oregon; daughter, Diane Casey of Tampa, Florida; son, Matthew Pedersen of Baker City, Oregon; step-son, Jarod Bergeron of Vancouver, Washington; step-son, Joseph Bergeron or Vancouver, Washington; brother, Dale Pedersen of Prineville, Oregon; brother, Chris Pedersen of Bend, Oregon; brother, Darold Pedersen of Woodburn, Oregon; and sister, Yvonne Pedersen of Albany, Oregon. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Edna Pedersen and his aunt, Enid Pederson.
Should friends and family desire, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association through Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel at 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.