Bruce Pearson, 80, of Mitchell, SD, died Thursday, November 26, 2020 at Firesteel Healthcare Center in Mitchell. A visitation will be from 10:30-11:30 AM Saturday, December 5 at Bittner Funeral Chapel. Graveside service with Military Honors will be at Servicemen’s Memorial Cemetery in Mitchell. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.
Bruce Allen Pearson was born September 9, 1940 in Mitchell to Margaret and Lowell Pearson being the youngest of four boys. He was a Boy Scout member of Troop 71 under Carl Sprunger. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell where he took part in the Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) Program where he held many leadership offices both local and statewide.
He graduated from Mitchell Senior High in 1958 and attended Dakota Wesleyan University for the next three years the following year he went to work for the South Dakota State Highway Department as bookkeeper in the parts room.
In April of 1962 he joined the United States Air Force and stayed for the next 26 years retiring in April 1988. During this time he worked at a Jet Mechanic on one and two engine aircraft, B57 Bomber, F-l 00 Fighter Aircraft, T-37 and T-38 Pilot Trainer aircraft for the first 10 years and then changed career and worked as a Management Engineer Technician for the next 16 years. During this time, he married the love of his life Ava Bobeldyke of Armour in May of 1963 who he met while attending DWU. They had two girls Pamela and Jody. As a military family they moved 14 times and Bruce also served three overseas assignments by himself to Kimpo, Korea, Phan Rang, Vietnam, and Adana Turkey. In 1967 Bruce graduated from the University of Omaha at Nebraska under the Bootstrap Program with the Air Force with a Bachelor of General Studies
During his 26 years in the Air Force he was awarded the following awards. Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf cluster, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with seven oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Longevity Service Award with five oak leaf cluster, NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Rift Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Device, Republic of Vietnam campaign Medal
After retiring from the Air Force he worked for private industries in Omaha, Ne, before going back to work for the government in Denver, Colorado with the Department of Defense Accounting and Finance Center where he retired for the last time in June of 2000 and moved back to Armour with his wife Ava who passed away in October of 2007. Bruce spend many years after that showing his 1986 Buick Skyhawk Limited at car shows in SD, Iowa, and Nebraska where he won many trophies.
He is survived by his two daughters, Pamela (Steve) Gordon, Huntsville, AL, and Jody (Tim) Stalker, Omaha, NE; grandchildren, Donny, Brandon, and AAron; sister-in-law, Virginia, Long Beach, CA; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ava; his parents; brother, Norman (Faye); and brothers, Wesley and Darrell.