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Charles W. Pearman

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Charles W. Pearman Obituary
Pearman, Charles W.

Charles W. Pearman, professor emeritus of architecture at Cornell University and resident of Trumansburg, died early Friday morning, May 10, 2013, after a short illness. He died quietly with Carol Skinner, his wife and companion of almost 40 years, and his daughter, Marie-Laure Pearman, at his side.

Mr. Pearman was born in Muskegon, MI on March 8, 1927, the only son of Harold and Florence Brown Pearman. He was co-valedictorian of his high school class and received his B. Arch degree from the University of Michigan, where he subsequently taught for several years. He also studied at the Institute of Design in Chicago and at Black Mountain College. During the Korean War he served in the Army Corps of Engineers doing research on housing for extreme climates. After the war he went into private practice and then was invited to teach again at the University of Michigan. In 1962 he came to the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell, where he taught for 41 years and also served for periods as Associate Dean and as Interim Dean.

Among other honors and grants, he received the Martin Dominguez Award for Distinguished Teaching. Although he had an architectural practice, it was teaching that gave him his greatest joy. Students valued his quiet Socratic mentoring, his deep understanding of architectural spaces, and his sharing of places he loved, in order to expand their awareness. He particularly enjoyed his teaching in the Department of Architecture's Rome Program and Summer Programs in Japan.

After his retirement, strokes and other health problems took an increasing toll. His characteristic generosity of spirit and courageous serenity still shone through, further deepening love in his family and others close to him. In addition to his wife and daughter and her husband Dennis DeRyke, he is survived by his son Peter Pearman, his wife Patricia Knecht Pearman and their daughters Moira and Gráinne, and by his stepsons James, Mark and Jeremy Skinner and their families. His fourth stepson, Geoffrey, died in 1989. Charles's first wife, Doris Aleen Watkins Pearman, died in 1971.

A Friends Memorial Meeting will be held for Charles at the Hector Meeting House, 5066 Perry City Road, Trumansburg, at 4:30 this Wednesday, May 15, with a gathering afterwards at his house at 8241 Searsburg Road, Trumansburg. All are welcome to both. Any contributions in his memory might be made to the Finger Lakes Land Trust or the .

Published in Ithaca Journal from May 13 to May 15, 2013
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