James Norman “Butch” Pedersen

James Norman “Butch” Pedersen

James Norman “Butch” Pedersen

West Branch

James Norman “Butch” Pedersen, 73, passed away Monday, April 3, 2023, at his home.

A celebration of life will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, April 8, 2023, at the West Branch High School Gymnasium. At the conclusion of the service the family will greet friends with sharing of memories to continue later in the afternoon at Herb and Lou’s in West Branch. Those attending the service are encouraged to dress in West Branch Bears gear or colors. It was noted that Butch did not like to dress up, he had three colors of clothing; black, red and white.

In lieu of flowers, Butch’s family suggests memorials to be made in his name to be used for future scholarships.

The Henderson-Barker Funeral Home in West Branch is caring for Butch and his family. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.hendersonbarkerfuneralhome.com.

James Norman Pedersen was born Dec. 19, 1949, in Iowa City, the son of Norman and Gladys “Tuff” (Brown) Pedersen. He was a 1968 graduate of West Branch High School, later attending Muscatine Community College and receiving his B.A. from the University of Iowa with his degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Physical Education. On June 12, 1971, he was married to his cherished wife Jennifer “Jenny” O’Neil at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church at Nolan Settlement. Butch spent his entire life teaching in the West Branch School system, “retiring” in 2019, but never really retired from making a positive impact on people’s lives. When he wasn’t at home or with his grandkids he was out in his office working on the upcoming season. During his summers, Butch was always working a part-time job and spending time with his family. One of his favorite jobs was working at the University of Iowa summer sport camps. He spent his life teaching and mentoring young students and athletes. He filled many coaching positions over the years; junior high and high school girls and boys basketball, junior high track, girls’ softball, coached an international boys’ basketball team touring Europe, and most noted was his 40 years coaching the West Branch Bears Football team. He was honored to be selected to the position as head coach for the Iowa Shrine Bowl, selected as National High School Coach of the Year and inducted into Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame and Cedar County Hall of Fame. Butch was also a member of the Bethany Lutheran Church.

Some of Butch’s passions included going to the grandkids’ activities, patty-cake, hunting, golfing, golf cart rides with grandkids, retelling his knowledge of Hawkeyes history, visiting residents at the nursing home, and being a pillar for all things West Branch. Butch was your fiercest competitor on the field, but was a great friend off the field.

He is survived by his wife, Jenny of West Branch; three children and their families, Lance Pedersen of Marengo and his children Dominic Zane, Dakota Anne and Zavier James, Kari (Dano) Zuniga of West Branch and their children Kooper James Kelly, Kason Maxwell, Myah Ann and Taylea Rae, and Kipton (Alisha) Pedersen of North Liberty and their children, Peyton Elizabeth and Kashton James. He is also survived by his sister, Debbie (Steve) Rohrbach; and stepmother, Rose Pedersen of Riverside; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Leave a Message