Patricia Hammond Pederson, aka mom, grandmother, grandma, great grandma, Aunt Pat, Ms P, Pat, of Clermont, Fl passed away on January 22, 2024, at the age of 94. Born on July 29, 1929 near Tulsa, Oklahoma, she was the youngest child of Earl and Juanita (Carnes) Hammond.
She was a strong and determined woman and lived out her final days as she said she would. Mom moved to Tampa shortly after her birth and had many fond memories of growing up there. She talked about the many days she & Ms Brad would have their jon boat towed out to a bridge where they would tie off and fish all day. She told many stories about growing up in the ‘small’ town of Tampa and getting sodas in the drug store or walking down to the bakery for a treat.
As a young adult she got a job in town and moved into the YWCA, and soon after she met and married the love of her life, Ralph J (Pete) Pederson. They began their life together living first in Tampa, then on to Michigan, DC, Atlanta before moving to Orlando to raise their children. She cherished her brother Earl (Sonny) and sister-in-law Mary Louise, sharing an apartment with them while they all got on their feet. This closeness was maintained throughout their lifetimes with many stories told about their shenanigans. Pat and Pete had three children Debbie, Ralph and David. While their biological family was complete, their move to Orlando expanded the family with many neighborhood kids becoming lifelong friends and stealing her heart along the way. Nephews and nieces were treated like family and spent many fun times with her throughout the years.
These times were her world until the grand babies were born, who quickly became the center of her attention. A grandmothers’ love, especially hers, is a special love and the grand kids were blessed to be with her. They all have fond memories of her dinners, whether they followed soccer practice or church on Sunday. A unanimous favorite might have to be the macaroni and cheese with double cheese. That said, everyone loved her baking and has a favorite cake or cookie made special by her love. She was always more than happy to share and teach you how to make any of her recipes. Cooking lessons became a memory etched into our hearts. She was blessed to have a best friend in Elsie, her partner in crime be it estate sale shopping, eating at Denny’s or spending a dollar or two at the slots.
One of mom’s passions was shelling. She spent many days throughout the years walking the shoreline of Don Pedro (Palm) Island, finding some of the most prized shells on the beach, spotting turtles and picking up trash left behind after 4th of July celebrations. Each year, after a week or two of shelling, she would strategically place pounds of shells around her as she traveled back home, so not to take up too much room with her treasures. A close second may have been her plants, always making sure they were well cared for when she wasn’t able to do so herself. Those passions were elaborated on through her love of music, reading, a good margarita, a light beer, or a wine spritzer. She loved to join in, never to excess, but always participating in the fun.
While her travels were somewhat limited in later years, she ensured she made it to Thanksgiving at the cabin year after year and managed to slip in shopping for fried pies on those outings. She loved her pups, choosing rescues over purebreds and spoiling them with PupPeroni & ice cream treats. In return, Happy and Moosh rewarded her with love, companionship and protection. Pat supported the South Lake Animal League in Clermont and the ASPCA. Donations are welcomed if you are so inclined.
Mom cherished her family above all else. This included her 3 children, 8 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, her many nieces, nephews, great nieces/nephews and cousins. She extended that love to her children’s partners, friends, nephews and nieces, ensuring they knew they were always part of the family.
While everyone joked about who was her favorite, she made everyone feel as though they were ‘the one’. She managed to keep up with this large brood through FaceBook, phone calls, cards and visits. She was surely surrounded by love, maybe because she gave it so freely. She is now sharing the light from above, happily reunited with her loved ones who went before her and watching over her family.
A graveside services will be held Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. at Woodlawn Memorial Park 400 Woodlawn Cemetery Road Gotha, Fl. 34734