Those attending the Celebration from out of town:
Be aware Hoover Highway into West Branch from the West via exit 249 on Interstate 80 is currently under construction.
Please use the West Branch Exit #254
James Norman “Butch” Pedersen, 73, passed away Monday, April 3, 2023 at his home.
A celebration of life will be held 1:00 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.
James Norman Pedersen was born December 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. Briget’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 summer’s, 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; Jr. High and High School girls and boys Basketball, Jr. 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 Hawkeye 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, 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 step mother Rose Pedersen of Riverside, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.