Michael Ralph Pierson
November 04, 1941 - November 30, 2011
Most men smell of aftershave but Michael smelled of fresh sawdust.
Michael Ralph Pierson was born on November 4th, 1941 in Atlanta, GA to Ralph Gordon and Myrtis Ann Pierson. He was the second son born with Arion Reeves being his older brother by two years. His family moved to So. California where is mother was from. His father was from New Orleans, LA.
Michael’s family lived in a few different cities in California but most memorable were Silverado Canyon and the city of Orange, where Michael went to high school. Everyone who knew Michael as a child said he was a very nice boy and very handsome. He had many friends. One in particular was a very close friend, Harold Purcell. Their friendship lasted throughout their lifetimes from preschool until Harold’s death in 2009. Harold’s death was very hard on Michael and he thought of his friend everyday. When Michael was thirteen years old his parents had another son, Jay Dexter. Michael always mentioned how much he liked having a younger brother. He spent a lot of time playing with Jay and his friend, Harold. Michael’s maternal grandparents were very active in his life, along with his many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He enjoyed very much the time he spent with them during holiday parties and other get-togethers. Michael also had a great fondness for English Bulldogs, which he acquired from his mother, Myrtis. To this day various family members have owned twelve bulldogs, all being named ‘Humphrey’, after the actor Humphrey Bogart.
When Michael was nineteen years old he married Katherine Glemaker. They had two children together, Heather Dawn and Todd Gerrard. While married to Kathy, Michael was self-employed, working at home remodeling and running his antique shop in Santa Ana, CA. Michael and Kathy were divorced after five years of marriage and Michael was drafted. He spent his military career in the U.S. Army stationed in Okinawa, Japan. In 1968 Michael received an honorable discharge and returned to California. Michael loved sailboats and decided to learn to build them. He worked at many of the boatyards throughout So. California and became a skilled shipwright. Most men smell of aftershave but Michael smelled of fresh sawdust.
The ‘Sixties’ were a great distraction for Michael and in 1971, on a trip to Europe; he was arrested for possession of marijuana and spent three years in a Spanish prison. When Michael returned to California he made a commitment to Jesus Christ and accepted Him as his Savior. In 1974 he married his second wife, Edith Cooper. After their wedding Michael lived in Long Beach, CA with Edie and their three year old son, Joshua Michael. Michael worked again as a shipwright for many years, along with a few exhibit construction firms. He enjoyed creating things out of wood and was very skilled. In 1975 Edie and Michael moved to Huntington Beach, CA. Their second son, Brody Reeves, was born there. In 1980 the family moved to the State of Washington. Michael got a job restoring an old Chris Craft motor boat in Seattle, WA. As their family grew up, Michael worked with a number of boat companies, along with running his own shop for a spell. In 1986 he hired on with The Boeing Co., working on the interiors of jet airplanes. His love was still sailboats, so in order to quench that desire he started buying his own, one at a time, to restore. One boat, in particular, Michael enjoyed restoring was a 1963 Pearson Triton. When the restoration was complete he moored the boat at the Port of Everett in Everett, WA and had many wonderful days sailing the Puget Sound with his family and friends.
2002 was a rough year for Michael, and at the age of sixty, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Being the courageous man that he was, he came through the surgery with only a few minor hiccups, retaining his sense of humor, charm and optimistic attitude. He retired from The Boeing Co. and focused on sailing and spending time with his friends and loved ones. The last six months of Michael’s life brought him into a closer relationship with His Savior. He spoke to others on a regular basis about going to heaven and that the most important thing in this world would be to know Jesus. Michael loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Michael was always a very kind person and he made a point to be as kind as he could to everyone. He always looked for the good in people and forgave easily. He mentioned often that if people would live their lives following The Sermon on the Mount than the world would be a better place. Michael passed away peaceably, in his sleep, on November 30th, 2011 at his family home in Snohomish, WA. He is survived by his wife, Edie, his sons, Todd, Joshua, and Brody, his daughter, Heather, his grandchildren, Aaron, Lauren, and Victoria, his great-grandchildren, Sydney and Riley, his brothers Arion and Jay, his aunt, Phyllis, and many beloved brother and sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
I Am Not Dead
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am diamond glints of snow;
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn's rain;
When you awaken in the morning's hush;
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds encircled flight
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
The Sermon on the Mount (St. Matthew 5:3-5:10)
the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
they that mourn: for they shall be comforted
the meek: for they shall inherit the earth
they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled
the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy
the pure in heart: for they shall see God
the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
A Sailor's (Michael's) Prayer (for Edie)
Dear God, watch over her for me
That she may safely guarded be
Help her each lonely hour to bear
As I would Lord, if I were there.
When she is sleeping watch her then
That fear may not her dream offend
Be ever near her through the day
Let none but goodness come her way.
Sweet faithful girl who waits for me
Beyond the wide and spacious sea
Be merciful, O God, I Pray
Take care of her while I am away.