Harry Pedersen

Pedersen, Harry

Chapel Hill, NC: Harry Pedersen passed away in the early hours of August 16, 2013 at Carolina Meadows retirement community in Chatham County, NC. Born in 1923 to Danish immigrants, Rïse and Martin Pedersen, Harry was raised in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Harry is survived by his beloved and devoted wife, Caroline Pedersen, who continues to live at Carolina Meadows; his sister, Greta Krag; his sons Cort and Neil Pedersen; his grandchildren Jacob, Matthew, Bjorn and Christian Pedersen; his step-grandchildren Robin and James Sirois, Christopher and Madeline Johnson; as well as 2 nieces and 3 nephews and their families.

Harry attended public schools in Lynn, MA and graduated as Valedictorian of his high school class in 1941. Prior to joining the United States Navy, he worked briefly for General Electric and attended night classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Based on his performance on an examination during basic training, Harry was selected for the V12 officer training program which enabled him to obtain a B.S. in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. There he met and courted Edith Straub. They were married February 16, 1946 shortly after his discharge from the Navy. In that same year, Harry was hired by the Gleason Works in Rochester, NY where he worked his entire career. His skill and creativity led to promotion to Product Engineer in which capacity he directed several teams that developed increasingly advanced machinery for cutting gears and pinions. Harry's ideas led to over 30 successful patent applications. He retired from the Gleason Works in 1989.

Harry was a devout Christian. In 1956, he led the effort to establish Faith Lutheran Church which subsequently became a thriving congregation in Penfield, NY. Harry continued an active leadership role at Faith Lutheran until he moved to NC in 2002. He greatly enjoyed singing in the church choir and taking part in many other church activities. Harry was an avid gardener and enjoyed a wide variety of technical challenges including landscaping his yard, designing and constructing additional rooms to convert his basement into additional living space, and fixing just about anything. He greatly enjoyed bird watching and was impressively adept at recognizing the colors and songs of many species. Harry took great pride in his Danish heritage. Harry was predeceased by his parents and first wife, Edith. Subsequently a romance developed with recently widowed Caroline Johnson of Charlotte, NC, a long-standing friend of Harry's family. They were married in 1994. In 2002, Harry and Caroline moved to NC to live in the Carolina Meadows community where they made many new friends and were active in community affairs. They joined the congregation of Saint Paul's Lutheran Church in Durham, NC. Unfortunately, Harry suffered a severe stroke in January, 2010. He recovered a considerable amount of function but began a steady decline in his health in 2012 that led to his recent death.

Harry was beloved and respected by all because of his extraordinary competence, devotion, integrity and kindness. He will be sorely missed.

A memorial ceremony will be conducted at 2 PM on October 5, 2013 at Carolina Meadows.

Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Sept. 8, 2013