Remembering Former ND Supreme Court Justice, Vernon Pederson

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News Article

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Campus Unit

School of Law


Original Story

Vernon R. Pederson passed away on February 26, 2017 at Lakeville, Minn.

Vernon R. Pederson was born September 11, 1919, on a farm in Ward County near Deering, North Dakota. He graduated from Donnybrook High School and attended Minot State Teacher's College for two years. He enlisted in the Army to serve his country in World War II.

After the war, he received his law degree and Juris Doctorate degree from the University of North Dakota. In 1949, he began to practice law in Minot and served as Minot City Justice for a time. For two years, 1951-52, he served in Fargo as an Office of Price Stabilization Special Agent-Attorney. On June 15, 1953, he was named a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State Highway Department and the State Game and Fish Department of North Dakota. From 1966 to 1972 he served on the original State Employee Retirement Board (PERS). He was the chairman of the first State Deferred Compensation Committee from 1972 to 1975.

In 1974 he was elected to the Supreme Court and reelected in 1980. In 1975 he served the Supreme Court as chairman of the Management Information System, which designed the original computerization of court records in North Dakota. He was also chairman of the Supreme Court Personnel Advisory Board from 1982 to 1984. He represented the judiciary as a director of the North Dakota Community Foundation from 1976 to 1983. Justice Pederson was the first chairman of the Judicial Planning Committee, which was organized in 1976. Justice Pederson retired on January 7, 1985, after ten continuous years on the Bench. He served as a Surrogate Judge of the Supreme Court, 1985-1999. On Oct. 11, 1952 he married Evelyn Kraby in Buxton, ND.

He is survived by his daughters Kathy Jundt (Randall) of Lakeville, MN and Mary Richard (Daniel) of Rolette, ND, his grandson Mark Jundt (Jenny) and great granddaughter Piper Jundt all of Lakeville, MN, his brother Glen (Carol) of Roseville, MN, sister-in-laws Tina (Ernest) Bismarck, Nora (Hjelmer) Minot and Gerry (Lyle)Waukegan, IL and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Tilda (Torgerson) Pederson, his wife Evelyn, 6 of his brothers Art, Harry, Raymond, Hjelmer, Ernest and Lyle, his 4 sisters Esther Steckel, Ida Pederson, Gladys Pederson and Alice Pederson, his sisters-in-law Lillian (Harry), Mildred (Raymond), Mary (Lyle) and Eldora Kraby (James) his brother-in-law James Kraby, his niece Karen West, his great niece Torrie West and his son Mark.

Cremation has taken place. Burial will be at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Bismarck at a later date.

The family requests any memorials be sent to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Bismarck.