March 11, 2014

Deborah "Deb" Vonnahme Pedersen, 60, of Dunlap, Ill., and formerly of Arcadia, passed away on Sunday, March 9, 2014, at her home.

Mass of the Christian burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 14, at St. John Catholic Church in Arcadia. Celebrant will be Father Gary Snyder. Music will be by Darlene Leiting and the St. John choir. Lector will be Ron Eich. Gift bearers will be Deb's nieces. Casket bearers will be John Guthrie, Scott Bothun, Michael Benham, Mark Vonnahme, Mike Renze and Dennis Vonnahme. Burial will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cemetery.

Friends may call after 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Sharp Funeral Home in Carroll where there will be a rosary at 5 p.m. and a Christian wake service at 7 p.m.

Online condolences may be left for Deb's family at

Memorials may be left at the funeral home or the church for Kuemper Catholic Schools or St. John Parish in Arcadia.

Deborah was born on April 30, 1953, in Carroll, Iowa, a daughter of Erwin and Rita (Behrens) Vonnahme. She married Robert F. Pedersen on Aug. 4, 1973, at St. John Catholic Church in Arcadia, Iowa.

Deb graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, with a B.A. degree in 1975 and an M.A. degree in 1982. She directed theater and taught secondary speech and English in the Waterloo and West Des Moines, Iowa, School Districts until the family's move to the Peoria area in 1991.

She was an avid gardener, reader, writer, genealogist, supporter of the arts, and traveler having traveled to all 50 states plus numerous foreign countries. She spent many hours in the Dunlap/Peoria area serving on various boards and committees for her church, the Dunlap School District, and WTVP as an on-air host. She also was a member of various philanthropic groups, including P.E.O. Chapter FQ. Her greatest joy was spending time with family and friends.

She was a member of St. Jude Catholic Church where she served as a lector, eucharistic minister, and former president of the Women of St. Jude.

Survivors include her husband, Robert Pedersen of Dunlap, Ill.; her children: Dr. Katrina S. (Travis Wilson) Pedersen of Rochester, Minn., and Dr. Robert D. Pedersen of New York, N.Y.; grandson, Henry F. Wilson; four siblings, Dr. Robert H. (Janice) Vonnahme of Manning, Iowa, John H. (Kathy) Vonnahme of Adel, Iowa, Jane (John) Guthrie of San Ramon, Calif., and Connie (Ernie) DeLost of San Diego, Calif.; sisters-in-law, Judy Hunter Vonnahme of Des Moines, Iowa, and Susan Pedersen (David) Hopkins of Nicholasville, Ky.; seven nieces; three nephews; and numerous great-nephews and great-nieces, plus aunts, uncles and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and youngest brother, Daniel A. Vonnhame.