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Charles Irving Pearson

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February 14, 1917 - July 6, 2014 Charles Pearson died peacefully at age 97 in Beverly Hills on July 6, 2014. His life was as varied and successful as it was long. It began in Chicago where he took up the trombone in high school and became a national solo champion at age 15. While at the University of Illinois, he played in everything from marching bands to circuses, which ultimately led to jobs as a featured soloist and crooner with dance bands in Chicago. But marriage and hopes for children required more security than music might afford so Chuck joined Sears Roebuck. Over his 30 year career, he became a senior merchandising executive, culminating in his management of the Vincent Price Collection, Sears' groundbreaking initiative to make fine art accessible to their customers. After retirement from Sears, he shared his business experience and insights as a lecturer at the graduate school of business at UCLA. At the age of 70, he became a volunteer with the Beverly Hills Police. And at 95, he was named volunteer of the year at the Rehabilitation Centre of Beverly Hills, where he made new patients and those without families feel more at ease with their surroundings. The main focus of Chuck's life, however, was his marriage to his wife Sarah, who predeceased him in 2010. They met in Chicago when they were both 10 years old, and knew even then that they had found "the one". Their 71-year marriage was a model of love, respect, and commitment. When Sarah's health declined, he was with her in hospital every day until she died. Regardless of her condition, he talked to her about moments they had shared in their long life together; and he was sustained simply by being next to her bed. Now, as they had planned, husband and wife will be reunited, as their combined ashes will be scattered over the Pacific. Chuck's surviving family includes his son Harold Pearson and Harold's wife Jeanne Marie, grandson Christopher and his son Charley, granddaughter Anne Pearson, her husband Eric Levin and children Rafi and Sadie; and Hal's stepdaughter Diana Miller, her husband Christopher, and their son Miles. All are lucky to have known this remarkable man, and are grateful for his gifts of love and wisdom.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 11 to July 13, 2014
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