Adelia 'Dee' Belle (Leffingwell) Pedersen, RN, passed away in her home May 17, 2019, surrounded by her family after a long battle with cancer.
Dee was born Dec. 27, 1937, in Nebraska, the oldest child of Charles and Lettie Leffingwell. Due to her father’s career in the rail postal service, they quickly moved to many different homes, and two years later she was joined by her younger brother, Sanford (Sandy). They continued to move around the country, finally settling in Billings in her teenage years. She graduated from Billings Senior in 1955. She went on to study Nursing and History at Rocky Mountain College, Eastern Montana College, and the University of Montana, Missoula.
While at Missoula, Dee met and fell in love with Kenneth L. Pedersen. In 1958 they married and she was overjoyed to have new family whom she adored, his parents Loyd and Thelma, and sister Marla. They settled in Billings and she worked as an RN until they started their family of three children, Evan, Thea and Tawny. They built a home on McBride Street where she became a second ‘mom’ to many of the neighbor kids. She was active in many community organizations: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Job’s Daughters, and Eastern Star. She was also a member of First United Methodist Church before becoming a founding member of Shiloh United Methodist Church.
After her children were grown, she returned to nursing as a CNA with Rocky Mountain Home Care, Edgewood Vista, and St. John’s. She finally retired in 2006 to enjoy her grandchildren and the many kids who called her ‘mom’, ‘Aunt Dee’, and ‘Grammy’. She also continued to serve the community working on the visitation ministry at the church, and volunteering at Zoo Montana.
Dee was predeceased by her husband; parents; parents-in-law; brother; son-in-law Tim; granddaughter Rosie; great-grandson Izaya; and beloved Joel Hale. She is survived by children Evan Pedersen, Thea Ward, and Tawny Massey; grandchildren Amanda Kraiter, Jessica Polk, Alicia Ward, TJ Massey, and Malinda Riemersma; great-grandchildren Brendan, Trenton, Bobby, Marshall, Lucas, and Nevaeh; sister-in-law Marla Rohrdanz; nieces Leslie Model and Stephanie Leffingwell Hutchinson; nephew Vaughn Rohrdanz; god-children Janet Thompson, Judy Bromling (Jenny, Kristy, and Kyle), Pam Billman (Lexie and Kendra), Melanie Bennett, Charlie Taylor; beloved Connie Larson, Winifred Keefer and countless others. She was loved deeply and will be greatly missed.
There will be a memorial service 4 p.m., May 25, at Shiloh Methodist and a celebration of life on June 15. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Special Olympics, Shiloh United Methodist Church, or Riverstone Hospice.