Former Nebraska State Sen. Don Pederson, a Hastings, Nebraska native, Omaha Benson High graduate and former UNO student, died Sunday morning at the age of 90.
His wife, June Pederson, said he died at his home of complications from pancreatic cancer which he was diagnosed with May 14th.
Pederson served in the state legislature from 1996 to 2007. He was appointed to the legislature on September 5, 1996 to replace David Bernard-Stevens who had resigned. He was elected in 1996 to represent the 42nd Nebraska legislative district and reelected in 1998 and 2002.
Pederson was on the Nebraska Retirement Systems, Building Maintenance, and Legislative Performance Audit committees, as a nonvoting member of the Executive Board and Reference committees and chairs the Appropriations committee. Since Nebraska voters passed Initiative Measure 415 in 2001 limiting state senators to two terms after 2001, he was unable run for reelection barring a court challenge of the measure.
He was born December 23, 1928, in Hastings, Nebraska. He attended University of Nebraska at Omaha, Grinnell College, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a former member of many North Platte organizations, bar associations, and the Presbyterian Church of North Platte. He is the father of former Nebraska Cornhuskers athletic director Steve Pederson.
His family released the following statement Sunday:
"June, David, Steven, Scott and Jeff Pederson are saddened to announce that after 90 amazing years, our husband and father, Donald W. Pederson, died peacefully this morning at his home.
"We were blessed to have the finest man any anyone could ask for lead our family. His life of genuine caring and service was an inspiration to us all. We thank all the friends who have reached out to him over the past few weeks to express their thoughts."