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Karen M. Pederson,   Age 88
Visitation Location: Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, Minnesota
Visitation Date/Time: Thursday, June 29, 2023 from 4:00-7:00 PM
Funeral Time: 11:00 AM on Friday, June 30, 2023
Funeral Location: Atonement Lutheran Church, St. Cloud, MN
Burial Location: Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, Minnesota
    Karen M. Pederson, 88
    St. Cloud, MN
    July 20, 1934 - June 23, 2023
    Karen M. Pederson, age 88, of St. Cloud, passed away peacefully at Cherrywood Assisted Living on June 23, 2023.
    Funeral services will be Friday, June 30, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Atonement Lutheran Church, St. Cloud, MN. Visitation will be Thursday, June 29, 2023 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM Benson Funeral Home, St Cloud and one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday. Burial will be in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, MN.
    Karen Margaret Pederson was born on July 20, 1934 in Iowa City, Iowa to Neola Wymore. She was adopted and raised by her parents Harold and Minerva (Ersland) Croft. Her first job was de-tasseling corn and it was there she became fluent in pig Latin, driving her boss crazy. In 1950, she was a member of the Slater girl’s basketball team and they were the state champions of Iowa that year! Years later, she and her team were invited to be the Grand Marshal to the 1995 Slater parade. Karen graduated from Slater High School in 1952 and graduated from Luther College 1956 with a degree in education. Her true claim to fame in education was writing a religion paper for her husband Earl. He was attending Augsburg, and his professors asked him if he had considered the Seminary. She married Earl Pederson of Starbuck, MN on July 27, 1957. They were blessed with 2 children, Kirsten and Steve.
     Karen began her teaching career at Lincoln Hills Elementary teaching kindergarten in Richfield, MN. In 1970, she and Earl moved to St. Cloud and she began working at Gaetz Nursery School before moving to teaching at Clearview Elementary. Her last teaching job was with the Seton Hall program. It was there she helped disseminate the program across the country and she got hooked on traveling. She then joined Bursch Travel, first as an agent and then later as a manager. She loved traveling and was able to host several cruises and a trip to Norway. She also travelled to the Holy Land and went on an African Safari, some of her fondest memories. Karen also enjoyed her volunteer work especially with Sertoma. She was also on the IRB board at the St. Cloud Hospital for cancer patients. She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi.
     Karen was a great shopper, and always dressed to the nines. She always had matching outfits for her kids and grandkids. This led to another amazing job as a Secret shopper for Dayton’s. Karen loved her family with all her heart. She loved going out to eat, with her favorites being Jimmy’s Pour House and Fishers Supper Club. Other favorite pastimes were playing bridge, Old Maid with her grandkids, and spider solitaire. Karen enjoyed trips to the casino and a good CC and 7.
     In her later years Karen enjoyed visiting with friends and family, her Yahtzee game, ice cream (which Earl delivered daily), the Game Show Network and visits from her grand dogs. Another recent highlight was finding her biological mother and getting in contact with her living relatives.
    She is survived by her husband of nearly 66 years, Earl, her brother John Croft, children Kirsten (Andy) Stiegel, Steve (Beth) Pederson and grandchildren Hailey, Tommy and Allison Stiegel, and Kate (Oliver Herman), Connor and Soren Pederson as well as in laws Dean and Pat Pederson.
    She was preceded in death by her birth mother Neola Wymore, her parents Harold and Minerva Croft, many aunts and uncles, Sister in law Norma Croft, and in-laws Eleanore and Jake Gorder, Vernon and Dorothy Pederson, Curt and Lee Pederson, Ilene and Harold Larson.
    The family extends their deepest gratitude to St Croix Hospice, Cherrywood South Assisted Living Facility, Atonement Lutheran Church staff and members, neighbors, friends, and family for all their love and compassion.
    Memorials can be sent to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Slater, Iowa or Atonement Lutheran Church, St. Cloud, MN.
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