Date Created: 08/24/2017
Last Updated: 08/24/2017

In loving memory of John Pearson
7/29/1932 - 8/15/2017

Location: Napa, California

Visits: 6,880

This memorial was created in honor of Dr. John Edward Pearson who passed away peacefully at age 85 of natural causes at Aegis of Napa on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. He was born July 29, 1932 in Kansas City, Missouri to Donnell and Catherine (Kenney) Pearson. He graduated from Tonganoxie High School in 1950 and from the University of Kansas in 1954, where he studied political science and was a member of the Navy ROTC program. After serving three years in the Navy, he returned to attend KU Medical School, graduating in 1962.
Following medical school he completed a residency in psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in 1966, following which he moved to La Jolla, California, where he practiced psychiatry for 30 years. During his professional career he gained Board certification in psychiatry and neurology and was known for his humanistic concern and diagnostic acumen in helping patients with complicated combinations of mental and physical problems. He served for over 20 years as an Examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and was a member of the San Diego Psychiatric Society Ethics Committee from 1981-1995, serving as Chair from 1983-1985.
An avid sailor and outdoorsman, he taught his children how to raise chickens, tie a double half hitch, and not give up without trying to nurse one more effort out of any rundown machine. More than anything, he loved the callouses on his hands – memories of his youth in rural Kansas, but also hard-won symbols of a life built in harmony with his wife, both of whom were connected to the soil of their backyard and to the fruit orchards they created together in the mountainsides and meadows of their land in Julian, California.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joanne, and their four children, Steven Pearson and wife Kimberley, Chevy Chase, Maryland; David Pearson and wife Linnea, St. Helena, California; Virginia Shogren and husband Andrew, Sequim, Washington; and Kate Gauger and husband Craig, Napa, California. Also surviving are eleven grandchildren, Deanna, John, and Brett Pearson; Madeleine, Sophie, and Spencer Pearson; Grant and Emma Shogren; and Matthew, Ellie, and Sarah Gauger. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Virginia (Ninia), and brother Richard (Dickie).
The family will announce a future date for a gathering in celebration of his life. They suggest memorials in his name be given to the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of the giver’s choice that supports healing of the human mind and spirit.


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From: Larry Schmitt Friday, September 01, 2017
I met this outstanding man in l969 shortly after I moved to San Diego. We met on the mental health unit at Mercy Hospital where we treated patients. John’s professional skills and ethics, always at the top, provided a model for me. On specific problems as well as, general issues, John’s advice kept me performing at my best. I am confident, that he ranks with my father as one of the most honest men I have known. He enjoyed many sports. I sailed with him once. We played tennis in our early years, racquetball and bouche ball later. John was an intense competitor. I was new to racquetball. Being in combat in a closed room found his competitive nature palpable and at first a bit frightening. We had many, many enjoyable matches. My friendship and respect for John proved deep and long lasting. We went through some tough spots in our Prospect Brothers group without a pause in our closeness. He came from Kansas. I came from Wisconsin. We both thought our Midwestern values mattered. Of course, I knew and admired Joanne, their marriage and their exceptionally fine sons and daughters. He set a high bar for living. I miss my friend John Pearson now, and will for years to come. Larry Schmitt San Diego

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