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Robert Pearson

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Robert Pearson Obituary
On August 8, 2014, there was much rejoicing in heaven at Bob's homecoming. Robert (Hall) Pearson, of Loveland, Colorado, was born July 17, 1920, in Ormsby, Minnesota to Swedish immigrants Lillian and Perry Pearson. The family relocated to Minneapolis where sister Marjorie and brother Gerald (Bud) were born. Having grown up during the Great Depression, Bob developed a hard work ethic early on in life. His first job was at age 8, selling magazines door-to-door. At age 12, he began driving his father's truck to pick up/sell newspapers to customers on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, as well as hauling ashes and delivering eggs and butter on Saturdays. This marked the beginning of Bob's lifelong passion for driving - cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles... anything with an engine and speed. As Bob was the oldest child, he also took on caretaking responsibilities in the home when his mother unexpectedly passed away in 1932. These early events conspired to instill the great value that Bob placed on family responsibility and the principle of hard work throughout his life. In 1935, the family moved to Triumph, Minnesota, as Bob's father obtained a mechanic position at a garage there. While attending Triumph High School, Bob worked as an attendant at a local gas station, earning 10 cents/hour. Upon graduation, Bob began working for his uncle, Eph Anderson, on his farm and at his livestock sale barn. At this time, Bob learned the art of cattle buying. Shortly thereafter, Bob and his Uncle became partners in a small trucking company. In 1942, Bob enlisted in the Army-Air Force, where he completed 51 missions in World War II as a B-17 "Flying Fortress" Waist Gunner in the 15th 97th Bomb Group (Heavy), 414th Bombardment Squadron, stationed in Foggia, Italy. Returning to Trimont after the war, Bob married Jane (Hoel) Pearson on July 25, 1945. They were married for 69 years and were the proud parents of Nancy, Wendy, Debby, Heidi, and Penny. Bob's Uncle Eph proposed a partnership to Bob in a small beef packing operation, with Eph mortgaging his farm to provide the financing and Bob providing the labor. At that time, it encompassed an entire day for Bob and a single employee to hand-slaughter three head of cattle. When Bob's brother Bud returned from his navy enlistment in WWII, he joined Bob and Eph in the business. Bob and Bud performed all aspects of operations, from buying and butchering to loading the trucks and selling/delivering. In 1952, the plant was destroyed by fire. Rather than succumb to discouragement, the brothers and their uncle purchased a floundering meat packing plant in Spencer, Iowa. Bob's niche was buying cattle and Bud's focus was sales. Their fortitude and business acumen not only revived the business, but Spencer Foods, Inc. eventually became a multi-state half-billion dollar corporation, the largest kosher kill plant in the United States, and rated 323rd in Fortune's 500 largest industrial companies. The company went public in 1975 and was sold to Land O' Lakes in 1978. Bob and Jane retired to Colorado after the company was sold and spent winters in Arizona. Bob volunteered for several organizations in his retirement, including Red Cross and Boswell Hospital in Sun City, AZ. Bob and Jane generously supported many missionaries, charitable organizations and individuals in need over the years. Bob also became an avid tennis player, medaling in Senior Olympics, and garnering many tennis buddies while playing in both Colorado and Arizona. Bob genuinely cared for all people. He took great delight in connecting with and making them feel better for having met him. He was quick with a smile and compliment and always found the best in others. He harbored a child-like joy and appreciation for life, as well as an infectious sense of adventure. Bob was humble and modest, ever deflecting attention from himself in order to praise and give credit to others. He was a also a gentle, eternally optimistic man who was devoted to God and family. His faith, honesty, self-discipline, integrity and sense of responsibility were known by all. The sound of his hearty laughter and spontaneous outbursts into song will be missed by everyone who knew him. In addition to his wife, Jane, he is survived and greatly missed by daughters Nancy Gadsby of Bellvue, CO, Debby Fredrick of Loveland, CO, Penny Pearson of Lafayette, CO, son-in-laws Gary Gadsby, Bill Fredrick, Clarence Solomon and Mark Tatum, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his siblings, daughters Wendy and Heidi, and grandson Shane Gadsby. A special thank you is extended to Pathways Hospice, Northshore Health/Rehabilitation Center and Lakeview Commons for their exemplary care of and support to Bob. In lieu of flowers or memorial donations, the family requests that an act of kindness be bestowed upon someone in need, as Bob did every day of his life. A private family ceremony has been held in Loveland and will be followed by a service in Trimont, Minnesota at an undetermined date. Bob was a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church in Trimont. Go to www.viegutfuneralhome.com for condolences.
Published in Loveland Reporter-Herald on Aug. 28, 2014
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