Willa M. Pederson

Willa Mae (McDougal) Pederson passed away at 91 years old, surrounded by loved ones, in Boise, on June 21st, 2022.  At Willa’s request, no services will be held. The family asks that those who wish to do so, donate to their local elementary school in Willa’s memory.  Cremation is under the care of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel. 

 Willa was born on July 7, 1930, in a logging camp in Cabarton, Idaho to Ancil F. and Lillian McDougal. In her early years, she and her mother would follow Ancil from logging camp to logging camp, their house on skids being pulled by a CAT or loaded on to a rail car. The family settled in New Meadows, Idaho for Willa to attend high school. Willa made the most of her years there, spending time at Zims Hot Springs or traveling to Riggins or McCall for a good dance. Graduating in 1948, Willa was always a proud Mountaineer.  

After graduating from high school, she attended Lewis and Clark State College in Lewiston where she received her teaching certificate in Elementary Education. She taught her very first class in Boise at age nineteen. The next year, she moved to Mountain Home because they offered her the highest salary - $1500/year!  While out dancing with friends, she met Derward (Pete) Pederson, an airman stationed in Mountain Home.  Pete and Willa were married shortly after he was discharged from the Air Force. They made their way to Pocatello where Willa continued teaching and finished her degree in elementary education at Idaho State College (University). They returned to Mountain Home for a long career with Mountain Home School District. Hundreds of second graders passed through Room Two at North Elementary. Willa taught in Mountain Home long enough to see prior students’ grandchildren in her class.  

Throughout her life, Willa enjoyed getting dressed up for parties and dancing. She prided herself in her appearance and surrounded herself with beauty. Her enthusiasm for life was infectious and her social calendar was full of the Elkettes, Alpha Delta Kappa sorority, weekly dinners with friends, monthly luncheons, and the annual camping trip to Henrys Lake. In retirement, she enjoyed traveling, shopping and reading. Most of all, Willa loved time with her family and watching her grandchildren and great- grandchildren grow and thrive. Willa made countless friends on her journey, and she had many friendships that lasted a lifetime. Willa was kind, caring, and generous. She loved deeply and she was very much loved. 

She was proceeded in death by her husband of 42 years, Pete Pederson and her parents Ancil and Lillian McDougal. 

She is survived by her son David Pederson, her grandchildren Grey (Gisele) Overdorf, Chantz (Brianna) Pederson, Brittnee (CJ) Earl and Payton Estey-Pederson, and four great-grandchildren with another one on the way.  

Willa will be greatly missed by all her family, friends, and those who knew her.