March 21, 1923 - May 5, 2020
Born in California
Resided in Salinas, California
Pete was born March 21, 1923 to Alfred “Spike” and Agnes Pedrazzi on the Pedrazzi Ranch in one of the homes that still stands today. Originally a dairy, the ranch is where he grew up and developed his strong work ethic and love of horses and cattle. He had deep roots on River Road and lived there his entire life.
His schooling began at the two room Buena Vista School. Later in 1941, he graduated from Salinas High and then attended Salinas Junior College (currently Hartnell). He always enjoyed sports and played football, baseball and ran track. He was a gifted baseball pitcher and the Minor Leagues showed interest in him. Instead of pursuing this opportunity, he chose to rope and rodeo.
In 1944, he was drafted into the US Army. He was assigned to the 124th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Riley, Kansas, the last horse mounted Cavalry Regiment in US Army history. He was deployed to the China Burma India theatre of war with the MARS task force. His unit crossed the Himalayan Mountains with 2500 pack mules to reopen the Burma Road from Japanese control. There he earned the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Bronze Star, amongst other awards.
After the war, he returned home to the ranch that he loved. In 1946, he married Gertrude “Trudy” Studer from Gonzales and together they had two sons, Jim and David. Pete and Trudy were married for 63 years until her passing in 2009.
In 1957 he formed Mt. Toro Cattle Company, where he had a beef cattle operation. Then in 1974 he helped start up Pedrazzi Farms, which is still a family run operation today.
Pete’s passion was always the western way of life. He trained, showed and judged horses for many years. He competed in rodeos, roping and even riding bucking horses. While away at war, he put together the Burma Rodeo to give soldiers an opportunity to compete in the sport he loved. He was a talented and tough competitor, and won the All-Around Champion recognition there. He was also very involved with the California Rodeo Salinas, working his way up through the organization, where he served as President in 1986-1987. He started the Exceptional Rodeo, was awarded the Gold Saddleman Award and in 2015 he was inducted into the California Rodeo Salinas Hall of Fame.
Pete has been a member and leader of many other organizations including Buena Vista Grange, Gonzales Young Farmers, Monterey County Cattlemen’s Association, Salinas Elks Lodge, and American Legion Gonzales Post 81. He was also on the Hartnell Ag Advisory Board and active with the Monterey County Fair, where he was on the fair board and was also recognized as a devoted supporter of the livestock auction for many years. He enjoyed being active in organizations his children were involved in growing up, such as 4-H, Cub Scouts and Little League.
Pete is remembered as a person who worked hard to reach his goals. He was brave and tough. He enjoyed putting together unique collections, playing cards, rolling dice and entertaining. He loved the outdoors, hunting and driving around the ranch.
Pete was preceded in death by his wife, Trudy Pedrazzi, his parents, Spike and Agnes Pedrazzi and daughter in law, Debbie Pedrazzi.
He is survived by his two sons; Jim (Donna) Pedrazzi and David Pedrazzi. His grandchildren; Clint (Alexa) Pedrazzi, Jeb (Christy) Pedrazzi, Kallie (Aaron) Papich, Nicci (Danny) DeRoza, Nette (Braden) Hoover and Peter (Emily) Pedrazzi. He is also survived by 17 great grand-children. Lastly, the family would like to thank Malia for helping care for him the past 11 years.
Memorials: In his memory, donations may be made to the California Rodeo Salinas.
Salinas, CA US 93901