La Grande, Oregon
Lenn Pierson, 91, of Claremont, Calif., and formerly of La Grande, died July 11 at his home. A celebration of life will be held in the future. He requested that his ashes be scattered over Klickitat, Wash., overlooking the Columbia Gorge.
Mr. Pierson was born Feb. 22, 1915, to Elva and Winfred Pierson in Geneva, Neb. The family moved to La Grande in 1925, and in 1950 moved to Island City. His father, who worked for Mount Emily Lumber Co., taught him to fly. He graduated from La Grande High School and then from Oregon State University with a degree in geology. He was a member of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity, and taught high school math and science at Grants Pass and Medford, giving plane rides to the students with the highest grades.
He served as a civilian flight instructor in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and married Eleanor Forbes, a control tower operator, in 1942 at Claremont College. He joined the Air Transport Command, and ferried military aircraft in the U.S and in Asia.
He founded Pierson Flying Service at Cable Airport, and spent 15 years teaching flying. He took charters to Alaska, Mexico and other places. He worked as a test pilot, a corporate pilot and a charter pilot, taking customers to Europe and Asia.
He taught all of his children to fly. His oldest daughter earned a private license and flies for pleasure; his youngest daughter is a captain for Southwest Airlines.
He was known as a great storyteller.
Survivors include his wife of Claremont; children, Cynthia Schleicher of Arizona, Jan Pierson Stevenson of Oregon and Douglas Pierson of Arizona; and a brother, Jim Pierson of Oregon. Another son, Forbes Pierson, a brother and a sister all died earlier.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern California, 150 W. First St., Suite 2, Claremont, Calif. 91711.
The Observer Online, Obituaries for the week ending Aug. 5, 2006, Published: August 7, 2006