Grover Pearson, loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather went to meet his Lord and Savior Sunday, July 30, 2017.
Grover was born Jan. 2, 1925 in Big Hill, Teas to Fred Ben and Mary Alice Pearson. Grover graduated from Reagan High School in the spring of 1942 and joined the Navy to support the Country he loved and to protect it from the Axis Powers. He did basic training in San Diego, California. Upon completion of basic training he was transferred to several different training posts across the Country for training as an aviation gunner/radioman and upon qualification as a flight aviation radioman was assigned to the USS San Francisco. For two and a half years he served in the submarine patrol off the West Coast. His ship was then sent to sea and participated in several raids in the western Pacific which included the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. His plane was the first and only air cover for the first group of Marines who invaded Okinawa that Easter Sunday morning of 1945. After the Peace Treaty was signed, his ship was assigned "Show of Force" duty along the east coast of Asia. This area extended from south of the Philippians north to Port Arthur, Russia. He was awarded four metals during his service in the Navy. His ship, the USS San Francisco, received more battles stars than any other ship of its size/class and was the only ship in the history of mankind where two of its crewmen were awarded our Nation's highest award, the Congressional Medal of Honor, in one battle. Grover was honorable discharged from the Navy in January 1946.
After his military service Grover returned to Texas and enrolled in Texas Wesleyan College then transferred to North Texas State College. While a student at North Texas, he was a member of the drama group College Players, a member of the Falcon's Fraternity and lettered two years in track. Grover often joked that many times he was tempted to quit school, but was afraid that if and when he met up with any of his ship buddies from the war he'd be the only one that didn't finish college so he stuck it out. When Grover attended his first ship reunion in the 1980's, he discovered he was the only one of all his buddies that did finish college. While at North Texas he attended church at Polytechnic Baptist Church in Fort Worth with a friend from North Texas who lived in Ft. Worth. There he met the love of his life. Pollye Ruth West. They were married Nov. 3, 1950.
Upon graduation from North Texas with his Bachelor's of Science in Education Degree, Grover taught and coached at the junior high in Nocona for three and a half years, then at the high school in McKinney for one year and in 1955 began his 14 years at Carter Riverside High School in Fort Worth as a teacher, coach and counselor. While at Carter Riverside, he introduced the "no pass - no play" rule in 1956; 29 years before it became a state mandate. During his 14 years in Fort Worth ISD he was chosen to serve on a five-member writing team that compiled the first biology laboratory manual to be used in the FWISD. Grover continued his own education while teaching and earned his Master's in Education and his Counselor and Administrator's certifications. As a high school counselor, he was the first counselor to register students using a computer in the FWISD.
In 1969, he was hired by the Corsicana ISD to be the principal at Corsicana High School. While employed by CISD he made the suggestion that those running for the Corsicana School Board "run for a designated place" rather than "at large."
Grover was a very active member of First Baptist Church. He was on the Board of Deacons for 45 years and served as the Director of the Senior Adult Sunday School Department for over 25 years.
When Grover retired from teaching, he began selling and appraising real estate. He served as president of the Navarro County Board of Realtors and was a board member of The Navarro County Appraisal District. He was active in the Lion's Club for over 20 years and served as president. He was active in the Navarro County Republican Party and served many years as a Polling Place Judge. He also spent many years as a volunteer at the Navarro County Food Pantry.
Grover was preceded in death by his loving wife of 51 years Pollye Ruth West Pearson; his parents, Fred and Alice Pearson; brother, Billy Wayne Pearson and sisters, Mary Ben Pearson and Lee Pearson.
He is survived by daughters, Karen Compton and husband Jim of Corsicana, Amy Gotcher and husband Pat of Ft. Worth; grandchildren, Ellen Compton Carter and husband Charles of Mabank, Kimberly Gotcher of Ft. Worth, West Gotcher and wife Leanne of Houston and Amy-Paige Gotcher of Houston; great grandchildren, Emmalee and James Carter of Mabank, and Olivia and Baby Boy Gotcher of Houston; sister Nell Pearson of Edinburg; sister-in-law Nell Gilmer of Ft. Worth and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.
A family visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017 at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home.
A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 at Greenwood Funeral Home Chapel, 3100 White Settlement Road Ft Worth, Texas 76107.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations to the Navarro County Food Bank be made in Grover's name.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Brookdale Assisted Living Center and Providence Hospice for all the love and care they so lovingly gave to Grover and his entire family.
Published on July 31, 2017