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Saturday February 16, 2013

February 26, 1922- February 7, 2013

Arne passed away peacefully in Victoria BC in his 91st year with family at his side. He emigrated from Denmark to Canada in 1929 with his parents, Jens and Agathe, and younger brother Paul. Canadian immigration officials gave him the name Arnold, but to his Danish relatives he was forever Arne. While homesteading in the Peace River country in northern Alberta, Arne's cherished sister, Ria, was born. In 1937 the family moved to Penticton BC and began working in the Okanagan tree fruit industry. Arne subsequently enlisted in the RCAF, was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in 1944, and served as navigator, guiding DC-3 Dakotas across Europe in the latter years of WWII. He met his future wife, Marjory Knight -- a member of the Woman's Air Force Command of the RCAF-- on the ship 'Ile de France' on the way home from Europe in 1946. Following a brief stint as co-owner of a taxi company in Penticton, and with a Veterans Land Act loan, Arne and Marjory purchased a small orchard in nearby Naramata in 1950. Over the next two decades, Arne and Marjory expanded their orchard holdings and built ''Pedersen's Frugthave'' into a going concern. Arne gave back tirelessly to his community and the tree fruit industry, serving as: member and Chair of the Naramata Irrigation District in the 1960s; member of the Board of the Naramata Cooperative Growers Exchange; elected Director for Naramata with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (1972); member and later life member of the BC Fruit Growers Association; Chair of the BC Tree Fruits Marketing Board (1973); President of the boards of BC Tree Fruits and Sun- Rype Products Ltd (1978-1982)--where he proudly oversaw major expansion and the introduction of TetraBrik technology; and President of the Canadian Horticultural Council (1981). He was a devoted father and husband, an avid fly fisherman and hunter, and self-taught fiddle player who regularly accompanied his wife at the piano. He is survived by Marjory, his loving wife and partner of 66 years, sister Ria Merritt (Roy), children Tom (Carolyn Rymes), Brenda Meiklejohn, and David (Kathee), loving grandchildren, a great-grandchild, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, and treasured cousins in Denmark. He was predeceased by his brother Paul (1994) and his infant son, Jimmy (1950). His family wishes to thank the staff of the Broadmead Lodge, Victoria, for their kindness and exemplary care in the final stages of Arne's life. A family celebration of Arne's life will be held in Naramata in the summer. A staunch supporter of the co-operative movement, Arne was a lifelong social democrat who championed fairness and social equality. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Broadbent Institute, Station B, PO Box 1273, Ottawa, K1P 5R3, would be gratefully appreciated. Remembrances can be sent to

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