Alvin Pederson, an accountant with Arthur Andersen for more than 50 years who was managing partner in the company's Baltimore office in the 1970s, died Tuesday of complications from Alzheimer's disease at Copper Ridge nursing home in Sykesville. The former Timonium resident was 82.
Mr. Pederson grew up on a farm north of Bottineau, N.D., one of nine children in his family. He attended a one-room schoolhouse. He started school without being able to speak English because his family spoke Norwegian at home.
He lived with friends in Bottineau to attend high school there. While working at the department store in town, the son of the store owner encouraged him to pursue a career in accounting.
He completed two years at the community college in Bottineau, then earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
After graduation and a driving tour of the western United States with a childhood friend, Mr. Pederson joined Arthur Andersen's Minneapolis office in 1946.
In 1951, Mr. Pederson married Elizabeth Ann Bakke, and the two moved with his job to Philadelphia. Mrs. Pederson died in 1989.
In Philadelphia, Mr. Pederson helped found a Lutheran church and served as its treasurer. He also joined the Aronimink Golf Club.
In 1971, the family moved to Timonium, and Mr. Pederson became managing partner of the Arthur Andersen office in Baltimore.
He continued to golf and joined the Baltimore Country Club. He also joined the local chapter of the International Wine and Food Society.
He volunteered with the Boy Scouts, offering business management services and contributing financially to the organization.
He accepted a job in Arthur Andersen's Tokyo office in 1980 and spent eight years living in that city, where he enjoyed walking through different neighborhoods and where he introduced local children to the American custom of trick-or-treating on Halloween.
He volunteered with the Tokyo American Club and the Rotary Club in Tokyo, and had a brief modeling career when he was asked to appear in a Brooks Brothers advertisement.
He returned to Timonium but continued to travel. He served as a consultant for Arthur Andersen's Hong Kong and Shanghai offices for a few years before he retired.
Mr. Pederson worked on the finance committee at Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church in Towson. He enjoyed daily walks, collected pens and pocket watches, and liked to drive through the countryside.
A memorial service was held Friday.
Mr. Pederson is survived by three sons, John Pederson of Houston, William Pederson of Hunt Valley and Roger Pederson of Timonium; four brothers, Olaf Pederson of Yucca Valley, Calif., Norman Pederson of San Antonio, Arlin Pederson of Minot, N.D., and Lawrence Pederson of Valley City, N.D.; and five grandchildren.