March 13, 1928 – August 27, 2019
Dcn. Robert K. Pearce Sr., 91, was welcomed into his eternal reward on Aug. 27, 2019, surrounded by his loving children at the Beehive assisted living home in Columbia Falls.
Born in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, on March 13, 1928, he married Mary Lou Smith in Sept. of 1948. They lived among friends and family in New Jersey for 45 years before moving to the Flathead in 1992. Married for nearly 70 years before Lu Lu’s passing in 2018, they raised three loving children: Bob, Jr (Lynn) and Doni Landwehr (Jim) both of Columbia Falls; and Kathy Schulte (Bob), who resides in Missoula. Over the years, his family grew to include nine grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, assuring his exemplary life of love and service would live on in spirit for many years to come. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church in Tupelo, Mississippi, on July 24, 1982, and served the people of St. Richards and the community of Columbia Falls for his 27 years in the Valley.
Deacon Bob was also an accomplished businessman and an exceptional engineer. After serving two years in the Army in Korea, he returned to earn a degree in Chemical Engineering and then a Masters in Industrial Engineering from Seton Hall University, all while working full time to support his young family. Most notably, he developed sophisticated processes and metallurgical components while working at RCA, which ultimately contributed to powering our early satellites at NASA, and for which he earned several patents. He left RCA in 1972 and moved to the furniture industry where he excelled as a manufacturing engineer. He was instrumental in developing the “Quality Circles” programs in the 70s, designed to improve manufacturing processes and reduce product imperfections. When he wasn’t working he could be seen supporting his kids’ and grandkids’ academic interests, sports endeavors and hobbies. Over the years, he was also known to roll a bowling ball, shuffle a deck of cards, wet a line and swing a golf club once in a while.
He was, above all, a dedicated follower of Christ, a lover of God and neighbor; he walked the walk every day as a member of the clergy and as the head of his family. He was a brilliant and loving man, honorable and selfless. He will be missed by family and friends alike.
There will be visitation on Friday, Aug. 30, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls. We will celebrate Deacon Bob’s life with a Rosary at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 2, at St. Richard Church followed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at 11 a.m. and inurnment at St. Richard Cemetery on Talbot Road. Friends and family can gather back at the Pearce Center at St. Richard for lunch and fellowship.
Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls is caring for Deacon Bob’s family.