Washington Mudslide
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Michael Pearson Obituary

Michael Pearson, 74, died of injuries sustained in a March 2014 mudslide in Oso, Wash.

Michael Pearson could easily have lived off the land, said his neighbor, Ruth Hargrave. He fished and hunted and hiked in the mountains to pick huckleberries. In his home in Steelhead Haven, he usually had a stew bubbling. Hargrave said she'd invite him over for dinner and once in a while he'd come, sitting out on the deck and listening to the river cascade over the rocks.

He would go on the mountain and find fallen logs and bring them back in his truck to split the wood. He even pulled out the previous owner's landscaping so he'd have plenty of room for his woodpile, Hargrave said.

"He had other friends on the lane," said Hargrave, who wasn't at her cabin the weekend of the slide. "He wasn't a guy looking for friends. He was looking for a secure place to retire." Pearson was a loner, she said, and over the years, she came to know that he had served as a police officer in Everett and a Marine in Vietnam.

He was the father of two daughters, Abbie Pearson and Julia Pearson.

As victim after victim of the mudslide was identified and names added to the list of the missing, Hargrave and her husband, Davis, worried about Pearson. The couple reported him missing and after several days, John Doe, whose identity the Snohomish County Medical Examiner had been seeking, was confirmed to be Pearson. A Washington State Patrol chaplain contacted the Hargraves with the news.

Courtesy of The Seattle Times
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Published in The Herald (Everett) on April 13, 2014
Michael Pearson age 74, of Oso, WA passed away in the tragic mudslide of March 22, 2014. Michael was born June 29, 1939, in Camas, WA, to Howard and Sally (Rancore) Pearson. He served in the... Read Obituary

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