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Robert "Bob" Pearson Jr. '47 March 22, 2021 2:48 PM updated: March 23, 2021 12:31 PM

July 20, 1926 - March 18, 2021

Robert F. (Bob) Pearson, Jr. 94, of Fairfield, passed away Thursday, March 18, 2021 in Grand Prairie. Bob was born on July 20, 1926, in College Station, Texas, while his father was enrolled at Texas A&M as a Civil Engineering student. Bob was one of four siblings, including William (Bill), Sara, and Henry, born to his parents, Robert F. Pearson, Sr., and Leona L. Pearson (Watson).

Bob was married to Billie R. Pearson (Wright) in 1947 in Heidenheimer, Texas, and the couple had two children, David R. Pearson and Debra R. Nickelson (Pearson). Bob survived his wife, Billie, who passed away in 2017 and his son, David '72, who passed away in 2008.

As a child, Bob was raised on a small farm in Bell County Texas where he grew up as an accomplished Lone Scout (then, a part of the Boy Scout program). Although he did not graduate from high school, on the strength of his high school grades and entrance exam grade, Bob enrolled at Texas A&M University in 1943, where he began working on his degree in Range and Forestry Science. However, before completing his degree, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he spent several years as a B-17 and B-29 engine mechanic in the South Pacific. Most famously, during his time in the Army Air Corps, Bob was a first-hand witness to the test explosion of the first U.S.-made hydrogen bomb over the Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific. After completing his enlistment, Bob returned to Texas A&M to complete his bachelor’s degree in Range and Forestry in 1950 (though he graduated as Class of 1947). After graduation, Bob became a Range Conservationist for the Soil Conservation Service (SCS). He later became the District Conservationist for the SCS’s Coleman County District. After a career of more than three decades with the SCS, Bob retired in 1981 and moved to Fairfield, Texas, where he began working for Wesley Smith, Inc., supervising land reclamation of the Big Brown Mine’s lignite surface mining operations through 1988. Later, he started his own small landscaping business. In 2004, Bob was recognized as the “Outstanding Conservation Forester” by the Freestone County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Over the course of his 94 years, Bob’s volunteerism and devotion to service of humanity and his community were marked most notably by his service as a Scout Master, a Deacon in both the Southern Baptist and Methodist Churches, Emergency Communications Coordinator for the Freestone County’s Sheriff’s Department, a Rotarian of more than 40 years, a Freemason for more than 50 years, having reached the rank of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason, Chairman of the Freestone Agricultural Extension Service, a Freestone County Building Committee member, a Freestone County Executive Council member, and Chairman of the Freestone County Soil and Water Conservation District.

In retirement, Bob continued to serve as a class leader and instructor of the Bible for his seniors’ class of the First United Methodist Church of Fairfield, Texas. Meanwhile, over a period of more than 15 years, Bob developed an interest in genealogy and traveled to numerous county courthouses and cemeteries in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia to learn about his family’s history and roots. In 2017, he independently published a book, Our Pearson Family History, through Author House, which covers over 200 years of family history, traced back to James Madison Pearson, born 1808 in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Bob is survived by his sister, Sara B. Smith (Wirtz, Pearson) his daughter, Debra R. Nickelson (Pearson), his three grandchildren, Glenn D. Pearson '90 (and wife, Luisa R. Pearson), Robert F. Pearson, III [and wife, Rebekah J. Pearson (Clark), and Raissa L. Nickelson, and his three great-grandchildren, Jennifer D. Pearson, Emily D. Pearson, and Christopher M. Pearson.


Sunday, March 28 2021 at 02:00 PM
Fairfield Cemetery
Reunion St. at Dunbar St.
Fairfield, Texas 75840

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