PEDERSON, RONALD

Ronald Melvin Pederson Mound City, Missouri Oct. 3, 1954-June 15, 2020 Ronald "Dr. Ron" Pederson, 65, Mound City, MO died on June 15, 2020 at the Community Hospital in Fairfax, MO from complications of Parkinson's Disease. He was born in Topeka, KS on October 3, 1954 to Melvin and Mildred (Payne) Pederson. On Midsummer's Eve/June 20, 1979, he married Cynthia Daniels in Topeka, KS in a sideyard sunflower-themed ceremony. Ron served in the Army during the Vietnam War and later as a First Lieutenant in the Air National Guard Nurse Corps. He attended Topeka Public Schools graduating from Topeka High School in 1972, where he played trumpet in the marching band. Later, Ron graduated from Stormont-Vail School of Nursing (RN 1980), Washburn University (BS in Biology 1984), and University of Kansas (PCNP certificate 1985). He worked as a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner for 28 years and was one of the first at Community Hospital Fairfax, MO (1994-2000) and at Clarinda Regional Health Center (1998-2014). He also worked for the Indian Health Service in ND on the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe Reservation, at the edge of Appalachia in NC doing Child Health and STD clinics, plus in urgent care and surgery for Carle Clinic in Danville, IL assisting with some of the earliest laparoscopic surgeries. Ron also worked as a combat medic for an Evacuation Hospital in the Army Reserves. In Topeka, for Stormont-Vail Hospital, he worked as an EMT for their ambulance service and then as a staff and later charge nurse for the ER. Ron worked as an RN with the Topeka/Shawnee County Corrections Department for several years. He also worked as a Trauma Nurse in Wichita, KS. Ron provided medical care at the Clarinda Academy for troubled youth. He enjoyed giving sports physicals to Special Olympics participants and volunteered for many years as the Nurse Practitioner Director of the Nodaway Valley Free Clinic. He was also a volunteer fireman. Ron is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Sharon Rice. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia, Mound City, MO; brothers-in-law, James Rice and Kurt Daniels; sisters-in-law, Celia Daniels and Nancy Daniels; nieces, Jaime Rice Huff, Chelsea Daniels Pitts, and Sheridan Daniels Myers; nephew, Timothy Rice; a number of great-nieces and nephews, and his companion cat Kittemous. Ron loved to travel, visiting most of the 50 states and many countries in Europe. He enjoyed going to the Caribbean to scuba dive. After learning to dive in Belize in the 1980s, Ron completed hundreds of dives in his lifetime. He especially enjoyed diving underwater wrecks such as the RMS Rhone in the British Virgin Islands and the WW II- era German U-boat off the North Carolina's Outer Banks area known as Torpedo Alley. Ron belonged to the Savannah Sashayers (MO) and the Clarinda Circle 8 Square Dance Clubs (IA) and attended several national Square Dance conventions. He enjoyed reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and magazines including classics, mysteries, and westerns, medical and military history. Jane Austen and Tony Hillerman were favorite authors. He appreciated live performance and made his theater debut in Wilkesboro, NC in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Ron had a deep and abiding interest in the natural world, inspired, in part, from frequent childhood visits to his grandparents' farm in Kingman County, Kansas. While attending Washburn, Ron conducted research on vole populations and assisted with a study of the effects of climate change on tree foliage. He participated in several citizen-science trips: frog research in Ecuador and Australia; REEF fish counts in Puerto Rico (with Paul Hunan) and in Florida (with Ned and Anna DeLoach.) He helped care for the prairie restoration on his wife's ancestral family farm in Doniphan Co, KS. He also tended a small prairie on the acreage surrounding his home in Mound City. In the last few years of his life, he took classes to become a Missouri Master Naturalist. A committed medical practitioner, he believed in and volunteered for many Parkinson's research projects, including one final one for Washington University of St. Louis for which he donated his brain. He participated in several support groups for people with PD.

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