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Jackie Pederson, 1953-2018

Jackie Pederson passed away Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, surrounded by her family in her home after a long and courageous battle with endometrial cancer.

Jackie Pederson

Jacalyn Sue Pederson was born Feb. 20, 1953, in Rushford. She was the second daughter to Joseph (John) and Jeanette Ruschmann. She was raised in Pennsylvania and then in Peterson in a little house on a hill outside of town. She attended Peterson schools and graduated in 1970 from Peterson High School.

Jackie married Kenneth Pederson on Dec.11, 1971, in Peterson. Jackie and Ken lived in Peterson and then moved to Hollandale in 1977, where they lived until moving to Albert Lea in 1995.

In 2009, Jackie and Ken bought Grandview Resort in Kabetogama, where their family had vacationed for many years. They had a home in Maplewood for several years, and in 2017 they bought a retirement home in Danbury, Wisconsin.

Jackie started her own cleaning business, At Your Service, in 1980 and did this while raising her family and attending college. She graduated from Winona State University in 1991 with a degree in social work and then went to work for Freeborn County Department of Human Services. She attended graduate school at Augsburg College and obtained a master’s degree in leadership.

Jackie was a tireless advocate for children and families in her work in child protection and family-based services. In 2015, Jackie took a position with the Minnesota Department of Human Services as a child safety and family engagement consultant and was a leader in training child protection staff around the state of Minnesota. Jackie believed in the strength of families and believed in listening to children and advocating for their needs.

Jackie loved animals, especially horses and dogs, and had a special way with all of them. She had two cherished horses at her home in Hollandale and many family dogs, especially Duchess, Rudy and Buddy who she spent countless hours walking with each day. Jackie also enjoyed Callie the cat, who sat with her often while she read and slept and watched over her through her last days. Jackie loved the outdoors, canoeing and boating, camping and simply being in the sunshine. She enjoyed traveling with Ken and loved their trips to Arizona and Mexico. Jackie was a lifelong learner, she was a voracious reader, and studied Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation extensively.

Most of all, Jackie adored her family and enjoyed spending time with them. She was the center of her family and enjoyed cooking and spending time with her children and grandchildren and extended family. She enjoyed watching their sporting events, music events and everything they were involved in. Jackie was an incredibly creative spirit who made and sent special cards to everyone she loved. No matter what, Jackie was always there for her children to be a listening ear and to offer unconditional love, support and guidance, even when they didn’t make it easy on her. She was also a devoted and loving wife to her husband for 47 years; they were each other’s biggest fans — with a love that guided their family through everything. Her no-nonsense and ever practical advice, such as, “Good sleep and a good meal will solve most any problem,” was priceless.

Jackie was preceded in death by her parents John and Jeanette Ruschmann.

She is survived by her one true love, her husband, Ken; and her beloved sister, Karen (Mark) Sprint; daughter, Diana Hurn; daughter, Lisa Pederson (Louis Kilen); son, Jordan Pederson; and daughter, Annika Pederson (Jayme Dean Anderson). She is also survived by grandchildren Devon, Dominick, Justice and Kierra Hurn and Ethan and Isaac VanderWaerdt; and great-grandson, Kaiden Hurn.

Through her battle against cancer Jackie and her family were held together by the community she created throughout her lifetime. Her family thanks their incredible extended family and countless amazing friends, especially Gregg VanderWaerdt, for their support and help through her journey. Special thanks also go to the staff at Regional Hospice Services of Spooner, Wisconsin, for their tireless commitment to Jackie’s care and advocating for her throughout this journey.

Jackie’s legacy was one that is built on relationships, kindness, compassion and love. In the last days of her walk on this earth, these are the things she spoke of most often. Her spirit will live on in everyone through these principles.

A celebration of life will take place at 3 p.m. Sept. 15 at Kilkare Lodge, 28851 Kilkare Road in Voyager Village near Danbury, Wisconsin.

In lieu of flowers, Jackie’s family encourages donations in her name to Regional Hospice Services of Spooner, Wisconsin.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home in Webster, Wisconsin. Online condolences may be expressed at www.swedberg-taylor.com.