PIERRE, SD – Rodger Hugh Pearson, 75, of Pierre, passed away Friday, February 22, 2019. Visitation will be held 5:00-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at Feigum Funeral Home concluding with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Services will begin at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, February 28, 2019, at Lutheran Memorial Church. Interment will take place on Monday, March 4, 2019 at Black Hills National Cemetery.
Rodger was born July 21, 1943 in Albany, California to Marjorie (Hughes Henriks) and Bernard Victor Pearson. The family moved to South Dakota when he was in the first grade and attended school in Interior, SD, where his Mom taught. He attended high school in Anacortes, WA and then commercial salmon fished in Alaska for six years. He was able to pay for his college education, obtain his commercial pilot license and purchase a plane. He graduated from Washington State University with a degree in animal science.
He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-69, stationed in Ft. Hood, Texas. He married Patricia Ann Booker on April 19, 1969, in Sturgis, SD, where he worked for the SD Department of Agriculture. He owned a hydro-seeding business in Sioux Falls; was state director of Nebraska Beef Council in Kearney, NE; and served as South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture, director of SD Wheat Producers, and a representative for Dow Chemical Company. He worked with Marty Nowak at Captain Clean for several years. After his retirement he worked part time as a bus driver for the Pierre School System and then O’Reilly Auto Parts.
He served 15 years as a volunteer and fire chief of Engine 1 with the Pierre Fire Department. He was Exalted Ruler of Pierre Elks, president of Izaak Walton League, a 32nd Degree Mason, a Naja Shriner; a member of the American Legion, Jaycees, and Lutheran Memorial Church. He was SD Beef Promoter of the Year. He and a friend Jack Fifield owned a racehorse until they ran out of money.
Rodger will be remembered as a loving father and devoted grandfather. His 12 grandchildren were his joy. He also attended every Pierre Governor football and basketball game, and many of the wrestling matches. If he couldn’t attend he listened to every game on the radio. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife, Patty of Pierre, SD, and his three children; daughter Deborah and her husband John of New Meadows, ID, and their daughters, Katie at University of Montana-Western, and Megan at University of Idaho. Daughter Kesiah May Frederick and her husband Gary, and their children, Kelbie, and her husband Derrick of Emery, SD; Jastyn, Emily, Olivia, Johnny, and Elias of Pierre, SD; son Bruce Samuel and his wife Jill, and their children, Ellie, Ava, Emery and Reagan, of Crooks, SD.
Condolences may be conveyed to the family at www.feigumfh.com