John Edward Pierson, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died Thursday, May 23, 2002, surrounded by his family. He was 77.
A memorial service for friends and family will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
Mr. Pierson was born in Watertown, Minn., on April 7, 1925, to Dr. Linus and Alice Pierson. He attended Watertown High School and graduated in 1943. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 6, 1943. He served as a corpsman at Seattle Naval Hospital and then underwent field medical training at Camp Eliott and Camp Pendelton in California.
Mr. Pierson was deployed to New Caledonia, France, with the 5th Marine Replacement Group and then to Guam, where he joined the 3rd Marine Division. He was wounded in battle while in Guam and received the Purple Heart.
He was honorably discharged from the Navy on March 22, 1946. He then attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., from 1946 to 1950. He served as high school principal at several Minnesota schools between 1950 and 1956.
Mr. Pierson was then employed by Park Davis Company for 10 years as a detail representative. In 1968 he brought his family to Alaska and worked as a school counselor at the Kenai Middle School until he retired in 1983.
Mr. Pierson had a long and loving marriage to Kathryn Burbie. He loved fishing, gardening and spoiling his grandchildren.
"Our dad and grandpa was a loving, caring, gentle and patient man who provided for us, kept us safe and was always there when we needed him. He will be in our hearts forever," his family said.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn (Kitty); brother, Bob; daughters, Jonna Encelewski, Kenita Stenroos, Loretta Rees and Jacie Marchetti; sons, Mark Pierson and Shaun Pierson; grandchildren, including Jenessa, Laurina, Derek, Jody, Nicole, Paul, Kristopher, Jesse, Deborah, Hannah, Jacob, Jordan, Olivia, Tyler, Kevin, David, and TJ; great-grandchildren, Stephanie and Rylan; and extended family in Minnesota.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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