Daniel Bester Pearson Jr. (1915 - 2013)

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Pearson Jr., MD, Daniel Bester Daniel Bester Pearson, Jr., M.D. (D. B.), was born March 23, 1915, in Bono, a small community in Johnson County, Texas, to Daniel Bester Pearson and Alice Melinda Huston Pearson, who said her best birthday was her 31st when her 8th child and 5th son, D.B., was born. The family grew to 12 children - 6 boys and 6 girls. In 1917, the family moved for the second time to the Texas Panhandle, to settle in the southwestern corner of Ochiltree County where his father taught school and farmed. Alice and Dan taught their children the value of hard work and education. All twelve of the children were college educated, and the family holds the record for the most of any family to attend the University of Oklahoma - ten. Three sons were medical doctors, 3 were teachers and farmers. Three daughters were teachers, 2 were dietitians, and 1 was a registered nurse. Dr. Pearson attended schools in Ochiltree County, Canyon, Texas, and finally Sayre, OK, where he graduated from high school. He attended the University of Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, receiving two degrees: a B.S. in medicine in 1939 and his doctorate of medicine (MD) in 1941. While in medical school, he met Hazel Roberts, a registered nurse. They married in 1940 on Friday the 13th of September. Hazel died September 18th, 2002, 5 days after their 62nd wedding anniversary. During his internship the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Upon completion of his internship in April 1942 and having been in R.O.T.C., he joined the U.S. Army as a lieutenant and was assigned to the 21st Evacuation Hospital, organized by the OU School of Medicine. He said he had the best 3-year surgical residency the United States Army could provide. Oklahoma Public Television highlighted the contributions of the 21st Evacuation Hospital as part of Oklahoma's Centennial Celebration and the Sooner Magazine published an article about it. D.B., Hazel, and Maurine, born the week after Pearl Harbor, moved to California where the 21st Evacuation Hospital was encamped at Needles. In the spring of 1943, Hazel and Maurine returned to Oklahoma City while D.B. awaited embarkation for the South Pacific. Their orders were delayed, and during that time, daughter Diana was born. He was not granted leave to return to Oklahoma City, even for a few days. He did not see his second daughter until she was nearly 2 1/2 years old when he returned on Thanksgiving Day in 1945. After D.B. returned, the family moved to Perryton, Texas, where he entered general medical practice at the Perryton Hospital and Clinic. While there, children Daniel the third, Charlotte, and Mark were born. In 1959, D.B. left general practice and took a residency in psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and moved his family there. Upon completion of his residency in 1962, they moved to Dallas where he established a private practice of psychiatry and joined the Methodist Dallas Medical Center staff, from which he retired at the age of 93 years, in 2008. Even after he retired, he went to the office each morning to make coffee, read the paper, and visit until his health prevented it. Dr. Pearson and his siblings were very close. Beginning in 1962 and continuing through 2011, there was a Pearson Family reunion held at D. B's and Hazel's home during the Oklahoma-Texas weekend. Many years saw over 80 relatives and close friends in attendance. Dr. Daniel Pearson, Jr., was a Life member of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the Texas Medical Association, as well as a member of the Dallas County Medical Society, where his wife, Hazel, was active in the Auxiliary. D.B. and Hazel enjoyed growing plants, especially roses and orchids, and were active in those respective societies in Dallas. Brother Pearson was always very proud of being a Master Mason. He was raised a Master Mason at Ochiltree Lodge No. 910, in Perryton, Texas, in 1947, and later became a dual member of Oak Cliff Lodge No. 705, in Dallas, receiving the Golden Trowel Award in 2009 for his contributions to Masonry and his community. He became a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason in 1948. He wore his 14th and 32nd Degree rings always. He was also a member of the York Rite Tancred Commandery. He enjoyed the Shrine dances with Hazel. He truly exemplified the Ideals of a Mason, treating all he met as equals, each deserving of love and respect, and always encouraged education and freedom of thought. He will be honored by Masonic funerals at his memorial. Dr. Pearson was preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Alice; wife Hazel; brothers Roger, Grady, Ira, Murble, and Huston; sisters Wilma Mikeska, Mary Alice Goodson, Marcella Blackburn, Clifford White, and Russie Anderson; and grandson Mark Pearson, Jr. He is survived by his youngest sister Nelda Overby; children: Maurine Pearson, Diana White (Jim), Daniel Pearson III, M.D. (Fran), Charlotte Mizener, Ph.D. (Gary), and Mark Pearson (Shirley). Grandchildren: Melissa Degenhart, Melinda Schultz; Lisa Leffingwell (Rex Gunter) and Todd Leffingwell (Missy); Rachel Pearson, Danny Pearson, Laura Pearson; Stephanie Pearson (Mike Taylor), Kristi Tufte and Jonathan Pearson; 6 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren; special friends Jon Leffingwell and Gwen Jefferson. We extend special thanks to Paradigm Home Health and the ladies who cared for our father. Dr. Pearson died Sunday, January 20, 2013, and his memorial service will be Saturday, February 23, 2013, at 2:00 P. M., Christ Episcopal Church, 534 W. Tenth St., Dallas, 75208. Memorials may be sent to: Cal Farley's Boys Ranch and Girlstown, P.O. Box 1890, Amarillo, Texas 79174-0001; or Scottish Rite Children's Hospital, 2222 Welborn Street, Dallas, Texas 75219; or a .

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Published in Dallas Morning News on Feb. 3, 2013
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