February 12, 1927
Santa Paula, California May 28, 2013 Edmonds, Washington
Paul Richardson Pearson, 86, loyal son, husband, father, grandfather, and former minister passed away peacefully after a long illness on May 28, 2013 in Edmonds Washington. He was a compassionate, kind, and gentle soul who was strongly committed to his family and spent much of his adult life working in Christian service to others.
Paul was born on February 12, 1927 in Santa Paula CA to Paul W. and Faith (Richardson) and grew up working on the family lemon ranch. In 1942, the family relocated to Seattle WA where he graduated from Lincoln High School in 1944. After beginning his studies at the University of Washington, he was drafted into the Army in 1945 and served in CA, Hawaii, and Korea before being honorably discharged.
He returned to the University of Washington in 1946 and completed his final studies at Whitworth College in Spokane, graduating with a BS degree in Mathematics and a minor in Philosophy. He then gained employment in the 1950’s as a structural engineer in the burgeoning aerospace industry, working with a variety of firms throughout California.
From a young age, Paul had a strong calling to the ministry. During his time in the aerospace industry, he attended seminary and with great commitment, graduated in 1959 with a Masters in Divinity from the San Francisco Theological Seminary while also supporting his immediate family during times of economic and personal challenges.
In 1959, he met his wife and love of his life, Georgene L. (Zapel), originally from Chicago IL, and married her 8 short months later in 1960, embarking on a 53-year adventure together. During this time, they lived in over 10 different communities on both coasts of the US, traveled much of the world, and raised a close family.
In 1966, with three young children in tow, Paul pursued his real passion and served as minister to a Presbyterian congregation in the upstate NY farming communities of Dundee and Weston. He remained in this role for 5 years, then transferred to a congregation in Stony Point NY, 50 miles outside of New York City, where he faithfully served for another 9 years. During this time, he also completed a second Masters Degree, an MS in Counseling from the University of Bridgeport to support his clerical endeavors.
In 1983, he re-entered the aerospace industry and worked throughout the US in a wide variety of positions until his retirement in 1997. Post retirement, he and Gene embraced their kindred love of travel, touring much of the world and more recently spending winters in their home in Arizona.
Paul is survived by his loving wife, Gene, and three children: Craig B. and his wife Claire of Monroe CT, Bradford D. and his wife Robin of Grapevine TX, and Erin C. and her husband Michael Anderson of Seattle WA. He is also survived by five grandchildren: Matthew, Samuel, Katie, Madeline, and Jordan along with 8 nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and sister, Faith Mary, and had the love and support of a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins during his formative years.
He will be remembered for his kindness to others, his commitment to family, his ability to carve out month-long camping vacations during summer breaks, his love of nature and animals, his innate ability to organize and budget, his inventiveness, and his strong Christian faith. He lived a full and active existence well into his 80’s and faced life and its adversity with fortitude and compassion, always thankful for his blessings. His family cherishes and admires his life’s journey and is grateful for their time with him.
Your prayers and kind thoughts in celebrating a life well lived are appreciated.