Former Nebraska State Sen. Don Pederson dies at age 90

Former Nebraska State Sen. Don Pederson dies at age 90
State Sen. Don Pederson on the floor of the Legislature in 2005. THE WORLD-HERALD

LINCOLN, Neb. — The family of former State Sen. Don Pederson says he died Sunday at his home in Lincoln. He was 90.

His wife, June Pederson, said Pederson died of pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed May 14.

Pederson served in the Nebraska Legislature from 1996 to 2007. He was appointed in September 1996 to replace David Bernard-Stevens, who had resigned. He was elected later in 1996 and won reelection in 1998 and 2002. He was barred from running again because of a law limiting state senators to two terms.

Pederson was a longtime resident of North Platte. He is the father of former Husker athletic director Steve Pederson.

“We were blessed to have the finest man anyone could ask to lead our family,” his family said in a statement. “His life of genuine caring and service was an inspiration to us all.”

In 1947, Pederson graduated from Benson High School, where he served as class president, was an honor student and later became a member of the school’s Hall of Fame. He attended Grinnell College in Iowa and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In 1954, he graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law.

He married Virginia Cummings on Dec. 28, 1952. Before her death, they were married 49 years and raised their four sons in North Platte.

He started his law career as deputy county attorney in Scotts Bluff County. He soon joined the law firm Beatty Clarke Murphy and Morgan in North Platte. He built the law firm Murphy Pederson & Piccolo, eventually being joined by his son David, a 1980 NU Law School graduate.

The tradition continues today at the Pederson Law Office, where David has since been joined by his daughter Laura Troshynski and son Matthew Pederson.

On Nov. 14, 2003, he married June Remington in the State Capitol building. They have been active members of the Lincoln community.

He is survived by his wife, June, of Lincoln; four sons; 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Services are pending.