Robert “Bob” Pearson died at his home in Medford, Oregon, on Nov. 3, 2020, at the age of 90. Originally from southern Oregon, he graduated from Medford High School in 1948 and enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the Sixth Army Band from 1948 to 1952. After leaving the Army, Bob attended the University of Nevada, Reno, and supplemented his GI Bill stipend by playing trumpet in an ‘off-night’ band at various Reno area clubs.
While at UNR, he met a young nurse, and later his wife of 47 years (until her death in 2006), Helene Dilts. After Bob earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry, he and Helene moved to the Sacramento area, where he worked for Aerojet-General as a chemist, and earned his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of California, Davis.
In 1968, the Pearson family (now including three sons) moved to Pleasanton, where Bob ran the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance lab at Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical’s Center For Technology. In 1970, Bob was elected to the Pleasanton City Council, and eventually became Pleasanton Mayor (at the time, the mayor was a council member, chosen by the other council members). In 1974, Bob was elected to serve as a board member of the Alameda County Zone 7 Water District.
After leaving Kaiser, he served as vice president of Auburn International, running their NMR division, before starting his own research and consulting company, Tri-Valley Research. In 1996, Bob and Helene moved to Medford, where they eventually retired.
Bob enjoyed his grandkids, Big Band music, Western movies (“hay-burners”, as he liked to call them), a spirited scientific or political discussion, spoiling the family pets, and telling a good story.
Bob is survived by his sons, Edmond, John, and Christopher; daughters-in-law, Joan and Julie; and grandchildren, Katherine, Maxwell, and Mellena.