Julius C. (Jay) Pearson, 89, of Orangeburg, died of complications from COVID-19 at Agape House in Columbia on Feb. 13 after a heroic fight against the virus.
Known as Sonny to family and his oldest friends, he was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Margaret Anne Lowery of Orangeburg, and his sister, Myrl Bordes Carroll of New Orleans.
Jay was born Sept. 27, 1931, at the Sisters of Mercy Hospital in New Orleans, the son of Julius C. Pearlstine, an attorney, and Hazle Blanche Stevens. He graduated from Alcée Fortier High School in 1947 and attended The Citadel as a member of the class of 1951 but graduated from Tulane University. Commissioned that spring as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, Jay retired in 1971 as a lieutenant colonel, with service as a navigator in the Korean War and as a crew member of the 86th Bomb Squadron at RAF Station in Sculthorpe, England, where he flew with the only U.S. nuclear bomber unit assigned to NATO. At Rhein Main AFB in Frankfurt, Germany, he joined a transport squadron and flew diplomatic missions throughout Europe, North Africa and the Soviet Union. Returning to the United States in 1963, Jay received the prestigious assignment to the U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College at Montgomery, Alabama, where upon graduation, he was retained on the faculty. Other postings included teaching positions at Virginia Military Institute and Louisiana State University. He held a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University. Upon retirement from active duty in 1971, Jay spent nine years as director of the Orangeburg District 5 AFJROTC at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, earning national recognition three times as instructor of the year.
Jay was an active member of First Baptist Church, where he served on the board of deacons and taught Sunday school for over 30 years. A former commander of American Legion Post 4, he was a master mason and life member of Osiris Masonic Lodge of New Orleans.
He is survived by four children, Clint Dale Stevens of Columbia, Elizabeth Lynn Robeson of Columbia, Julianne Lowery Leary of Lexington and Lee Douglas Pearson of New Orleans; five grandchildren, Patrick Leary of Phoenix, Anna Leary, Rebecca (Trae) Carson, both of Lexington, Moss Robeson of Columbia and Remy Teal Robeson of Seattle; and a great-grandchild, Blaise Leary of Lexington. He also leaves behind two nieces and a number of cousins in New Orleans, as well as his cherished Citadel roommate and friend of 73 years, Robert P. Fulmer of Orangeburg.
Interment will be in Fort Jackson National Cemetery on Thursday, Feb. 25, after a private family ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to First Baptist Church of Orangeburg; Shriners Children’s Hospital of Greenville; or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital of Memphis.
Posted in: Times and Democrat
Posted on: 2021-02-25
Link to original obituary: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/thetandd/name/julius-pearson-obituary?pid=197879400