Phyllis Pederson, 71 years old, of Bloomington, Illinois and The Villages, Florida passed away on June 10, 2022 due to a car crash.
Phyllis was born December 25, 1950 in Waukegan, Illinois to Theodore E Paxton and Alice Jo Johnson Paxton. She graduated from Zion Benton Township High School in 1969, where she met her husband Robert “Bob” Pederson. She then graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1973 and went on to receive her Master’s from Olivet Nazarene University.
Phyllis was a lifelong teacher, working most notably with first graders at Sheridan Elementary in Bloomington, Illinois for the majority of her 35 year teaching career. In 2009, she was inducted into the District 87 Hall of Fame for her brilliant and dedicated teaching. She taught much more than school, but also creativity, love, and acceptance.
Phyllis was highly involved in Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Illinois and New Covenant United Methodist Church in The Villages, Florida. Her faith carried her through life with grace, humanity, and warmth.
Phyllis was devoted to her family whom she adored. She organized Nana Camp, a weeklong annual gathering of her children and grandchildren wherein she always had fun activities planned. It was a highlight to her love for family.
Phyllis also enjoyed bringing smiles to everyone’s faces as a clown for Clown Alley 179 and Tri County Clown Alley in The Villages, Florida. She clowned as Merry Mollasses, using puppets and jokes to make people laugh young and old alike. Her humor will be dearly missed.
Phyllis is survived by her husband Bob Pederson of The Villages, Florida; sister and brother-in-law Diane and Mike Davidson of Spokane, Washington; brother Mark Paxton of Tennessee; brother Kyle Paxton; daughter Jennifer Pederson of Bloomington, Illinois; son and daughter-in-law Nick and Lauren Pederson of Alamogordo, New Mexico; son and daughter-in-law Adam and Lane Pederson of Monticello, Illinois; six grandchildren Leo, Caiti, Maya, Payton, Gavin, and Tristan; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A visitation will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Illinois on July 16 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Following the visitation, a memorial service will be held at the church on July 16 at 3:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be left to Shriners Children Hospital.
A second celebration of life will be held at the Savannah Center in The Villages, Florida on August 10 at 2 p.m. All are welcome to come cherish and celebrate Phyllis’ life well spent.