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Leonard Eugene Pearson


1917 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Leonard Eugene Pearson Obituary
Leonard Eugene Pearson
Sept. 22, 1917 - Nov. 8, 2013
Resident of Livermore
Leonard was born in Omaha, NE, of parents Hjalmar Pearson of Småland, Sweden, and Anna Olivia Johnson of Omaha. His father died in the 1918 flu epidemic, and his mother later married Oscar Peterson of Omaha but died of rheumatoid arthritis soon after. Leonard lived with his stepfather and stepsister Helen Peterson. All were active in the Swedish Covenant Church.
Leonard moved to Chicago, IL, as a young man and was one of the first electronics engineers hired by Motorola Inc., even though he had only 2 years of college. He married his soul mate Bettijane Smith of Hinsdale, IL, in 1942. Leonard was too thin to be accepted for active military duty, but he made a significant contribution to the U.S. strategy in World War II in his work designing the turret radiofrequency-changing device that enabled pilots to avoid being overheard on their radios in action. He and Bettijane raised their children in Western Springs, IL. He retired from Motorola in 1978 and moved to Livermore, CA, in 1997.
Leonard was the kindest, most patient husband and father. He gave his family many happy memories of summer cottage and camping vacations. He gave his children and grandsons a lifelong love of nature; they were so lucky to have him in their lives. He passed away peacefully at home in Livermore on November 8, 2013. He is survived by his wife Bettijane; daughter Cynthia Pearson Talaber (David) of Livermore; son James Leonard Pearson, M.D., (Karen) of Greenbrae, CA; grandson Graham Pearson Talaber of Livermore; and grandsons Bryden Drew Pearson and Aidan Hege Pearson of Greenbrae.
A private memorial will be held at Bronswood Cemetery in Hinsdale, IL.

Published in Contra Costa Times on Nov. 24, 2013
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