Jeanette Ann Pederson, age 88, passed away in the town of Three Lakes, where she was born on Sept. 6, 1931 to Edward and Etta Stanzil.
In 2006, Jeanette was asked by her youngest daughter, Michele, what she would want people to know about her upon her death?
"I will tell you Shellie-re, BUT only if you keep it between us until that day."
That day was Sept. 8, 2019 at 11:45 p.m. What follows is that conversation.
"Growing up in Three Lakes, in the Stanzil household you either helped in the garden or helped in the kitchen. You know I hate the cold and some days it was just that, cold, in the garden. So at just age 5 I decided I wanted to learn how to cook. Standing on a chair next to Ma she patiently taught me how to make cupcakes." "Be very careful, do not spill, Jeana" she would say, as I learned to measure tablespoons and teaspoons of ingredients. How proud I felt the day Ma rewrote her recipe and named it "Jeanna's Patty Cakes"
"Papa was a Fisherman and he knew all the spots where the mighty muskie lurked. When he had free time he would take me fishing. At age 12 I felt very grown up to go out in the boat. Pa would fish and I would read a book. Each time I read the fable, Stone Soup, Pa would get a bite, so I kept reading it over and over. After enough fish had been caught, Pa would row to an island and build a snappy fire. The frying pan, coffee, bread, and bacon grease would appear. While I made coffee, Pa cleaned fish. Soon you were surrounded by the delicious aroma of fried fish. "Here Jenny Wren, have some supper", he would say, handing me a plate. We would dine in the best outdoor restaurant in the world with the glow of the setting sun warming the waters. I am always reminded of this time when I see the glowing sunset turn to dusk"
"It was not long after those times, when I was 13, Pa fell ill and I went off to Evanston, Ill. to work for Max and Harriet Drever. The train ride was one of adventure and loneliness. The train had a famous passenger, Elizabeth Taylor, who was only a year older than me. This was a chance to go to a big city school, have my own bedroom and bathroom, both I had always shared. The opportunity to grow my interest in writing was there, including being on the staff of the Gondolier, at Nicholas School where I attended classes. However, leaving my family and the Northwoods was a challenge I had to bravely meet."
"I did return to Three Lakes High School and graduated in 1949. I was ready for the world and went to work at the Eagle River Telephone Company. "Number, please."
"May 18, 1950 I was honored to have my winning essay on the subject, Our Great American Heritage: Liberty, read into the Congressional Record by Senator Joe McCarthy. The opening lines of the Gettysburg Address were my inspiration. You know how us writers need that inspiration."
"November 13, 1950 was the day I married Rudy Pederson of Monico. We headed off to the minister's house in Bruce Crossing, Mich. I had on a very chic fall suit that was a melon color with brown accessories. The corsage was white chrysanthemums. George Nehls, Pete's best friend, and my maid of honor, Peggy Meagher, were there to witness this event. The minister was all dressed for hunting, but he leaned his gun in the corner and performed the ceremony. I always remember the minister saying "until death do you part" and I thought 'Gee, that's a really long time.'" (Rudy and Jeanette were married for just over 60 years until his passing March 17, 2012)
"We made our home in Monico. We lived in the tiny house next to Grandma and Grandpa Pederson while Pete was building on our house across Lake Venus. Thomas Rudy was first born - such a miracle! Markie Jane was born New Year's Day 1953. She was not due until Jan. 14 so that race to Antigo hospital on a snow night really rang in the New Year. She was born without Dr. Dailey. When he did get there I asked him if it was worth $50 to wish me 'Happy New Year'. Apparently not, as he never did charge for the delivery."
"Terry Howard arrived and Timothy George a few years after. Michele Marie was the last added to our troop. The days became ones of driving the kindergarten kids to Three Lakes in the station wagon or in the evening the kids from athletic practice, band, drama or any other number of after school activities. There was bowling, and community club, PTA (you know who made cookies for the bake sales), Ladies Aids and all the church doings at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Monico. I never thought that in later years I would actually be the organist there. There was other fun too with baseball games to watch Pete play ball and summertime evenings to go listen to Skip Wagner at the Black Forest"
"But, even with all of that going on there was always time to cook. Chili, caramel corn, and wedding cakes, of course. I never met a recipe I didn't like. It was a wonder I ever had a chance to write with all that cooking. My first real story was Here Comes the Navy, a love story only a 6th grader could write. Once you children were older, The Rhinelander Rustic Writers Club was a great place to meet people who were also pursuing their dream as a writer. Doris Day and I will always be remembered in Lady's Circle January 1971. Doris, well...she was Doris Day and me for the Pine Cone Artistry Article, and photographs too, of Virginia Siegrist's work. When I had a chance to become a field editor for Taste of Home that was a thrill that let me combine my two passions cooking and writing. It was an honor when they would publish one of my recipes. I also enjoyed writing the stories that I did about cooking for the Rhinelander Daily News. The people were so interesting, like the MacMorrans and their traditional outdoor boiled dinner made every Labor Day. Cooking and writing are both things I have enjoyed doing my entire life"
"Well with this I will end as I will not know the final chapter credits. That will be for others to complete".
Jeanette is survived by children: Thomas (Susan) Pederson of Hartland, Mich., Markie (Matt) Olechowski of Three Lakes, Terry (Martha) Pederson of Monico, Timothy (Laura) Pederson of Hartland, and Michele Pederson of Chardon, Ohio; 11 grandchildren, Erik, Edward, Christopher, and Patrick Pederson, Nathan, Jason, Chad and Sarah Gensler, Mark, Tina and John McBride; and numerous great-grandchildren. Her remaining sibling is sister Rachel Goldberg.
Funeral services will be held at Passion for Christ Community Church in Monico, on Saturday Sept. 21, at 11 a.m., with Pastor Judy Cheetam officiating. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Carlson Funeral Home, and from 10 a.m. until just prior to the services on Saturday at the Church. Internment at the Monico Cemetery will follow the service. You may leave your private condolences for the Pederson family at www.carlsonfh.com. The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving Jeanette's family.
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