Curtis Oneal Pedersen, 77, died in his sleep on Tuesday, July 10, 2012.
Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 28, at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Apple Valley, Minn., with the Rev. Duane Paetznick officiating. A luncheon reception will follow. Visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to the service.
He was born Nov. 2, 1934, in Tyler, Minn., to Leo and Anna (Svendsen) Pedersen. He was raised on the family farm and was baptized and confirmed at Danebod Lutheran Church.
He graduated from Tyler High School and received his bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from South Dakota State University.
He married Carolyn Ann Hague on Dec. 30, 1956, at First Methodist Church in Brookings. After marriage they made their home in Minneapolis while Curtis worked on his master’s degree at the University of Minnesota.
He began his career working for General Electric. He went on to receive his doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. During those years, Curtis, Carolyn and their children, Mark and Krista, lived in several communities in the Midwest and East.
In 1967, Curtis accepted a professorship with the University of Illinois at Urbana. During his time at the University of Illinois, he was a well-liked and highly respected teacher, a leading researcher in the fields of building simulation and heating/cooling systems, and an advisor and mentor to more than 50 graduate students, many of whom are now leaders in industry or professors at universities throughout the U.S.
For the past 22 years, Curt and Carolyn made their home in Minnesota. With their son, they constructed their dream home on the bank of the Mississippi River in Hastings.
Curtis loved his family and was incredibly proud of his grandsons. He was an avid photographer and camper and loved the Mississippi River.
He was a teacher, role model, and mentor and his family and students were very important in his life.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Carolyn; his son, Mark of Hastings; his daughter, Krista (Larry) Betcher of Northfield, Minn.; two grandsons; a brother, Jim (Marilyn) Pedersen of Brookings; nieces, nephews, former students, and friends.
Because he was a lifelong learner and passionate about advanced education, a scholarship fund will be established in his honor called The Dr. Curtis Pedersen Advanced Education Memorial Fund.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home.
For online condolences, visit www.northfieldfuneral.com.