On the morning of February 18, 2019, a great man went to heaven. Russell Duane Pederson was born on January 13, 1961 in Glendive, Montana to Gwynn and Roland Pederson. He always said that he was born in Glendive and three days later they took him home and started feeding him.
Russell was larger than life and anyone he ever met, would never forget him. He worked hard and played hard. He will always be remembered for his honesty and integrity. He was a kind caring man who loved to tell a good story. His sense of humor was contagious. He was a man of great faith and was not afraid to tell anyone about God’s grace.
On October 7, 2001 Russell and his son Roland married Paula Dunham and her sons Travis, Jason, and Kramer. Russell’s family was his pride and joy. He was especially proud of all of his boys.
Russell was many things: pilot, farmer, auctioneer, real estate broker, insurance agent, teacher, and Santa Claus, which he considered his most rewarding job.
Russell developed his salesmanship abilities and his love for flying at a young age. As a boy he would line up all his possessions to sell to his brother and sister. He had an innate, almost magical ability to make you want an item even more than you realized. During these same years Russell, was his father’s constant flying companion and was given the controls, soloing at age 12. He was a natural at both and they became the leading forces in his life.
Russell’s first job was stacking bales. In the 8th grade he was a strapping 6’1” and 180 lbs. Initially he did not show any interest in sports. However, his junior year he started wrestling in the heavyweight division and was a Divisional Champion his Senior year.
Russell was a licensed pilot before graduating from High School. His Uncle Wally brought him under his wing into the spraying business. Wallis was not just his uncle, he was a sincere friend and mentor. They shared a relationship rivaled only by father and son. He was known to land on water and fly under power lines. By far, his favorite trick was buzzing anyone he knew whenever and wherever his plane crossed their path. He never tired of that boyish thrill. More than half of McCone County can attest to this.
After he sold his spraying business, he focused on selling real estate and conducting auctions. As his physical health declined, he had to give up doing auctions, but was still able to pass on his vast knowledge of real estate as his son Jason joined the company to work with him. Russell had an incredible memory and more importantly, the ability to connect with people. Everyone was his friend.
Russell had adversity in his life. He was challenged by a battle with cancer and later suffered a stroke. Through it all, he never lost his positive spirit or sense of humor and always had a good story for whomever would come to visit him.
Russell was preceded in death by his grandparents, Marguerite and Elmer Buell, Margaret and Andree Pederson and his Uncle Jerome Pederson and Aunts Gloria Larson and Gail Anderson. He is survived by his wife Paula and his sons Travis (Kelcy) Dunham, Jason Dunham, and Kramer Dunham and Roland Pederson; His parents Gwynn Pederson and Roland (Mari) Pederson, his sister Merri (Roy) Clifton, and brothers Guy and Garrett (Amy); Aunts and uncles, numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, many other family members, and many many friends.
Visitation will be held on Friday, February 22, 2019 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Circle. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the Assembly of God Church in Circle. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.