John W. Pierson


MENDOTA - John W. Pierson, 79, of Mendota passed away Oct. 31, 2019 at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, Rockford surrounded by his loving family.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Mendota with Rev. Steve Mindrup officiating. Burial will be at Lutheran Cemetery, Mendota at a later date. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota.

John was born Aug. 12, 1940 in Northeast, Erie County, Pa. to Paul Edward and Mary (Fradalius) Pierson. He married Shirley Frost on June 19, 1965.

Survivors include his loving wife; one daughter, Deanna Lynn Pierson Arjes; three granddaughters whom he adored, Kendra Renee, Kayli Nichole and Karlee Elizabeth; five nieces, Pam Mellem, Mary Koenen, Michelle Grein, Christa Snider and Kim Clark; one stepsister, Donna (Herb) Sample and a stepbrother, Bruce Smith.

He was preceded in death by his mother in 1950; his father in 1982; his step-mother, Margaret Pierson in 2000; one sister, Judy Clark in 2017; and one brother, Fred Pierson in 2018.

John spent most of his childhood in Bemus Point, N.Y. living in a home on Chautauqua Lake. He shared many memories of his swimming and fishing experiences at the lake. He moved to Green Lake, Wis. when he was a high school freshman and graduated from Green Lake High School in 1959, retaining long term friendships with several of his classmates. After high school, he joined the U.S. Army on Aug. 14, 1960. He was in artillery truck vehicle maintenance and spent part of his time in Bamberg, Germany. He and Shirley lived in Troy Grove for 22 years and spent the remainder of their married life in the Mendota area. John worked at Prescott Brothers for 18 years as a mechanic. After leaving Prescott’s, he was hired by the Mendota Elementary School as a custodian and continued in this career until his retirement, ultimately becoming head custodian at Lincoln School. After retirement, he spent many hours in his garage workshop and crafted a large number of items, many of which were gifts for his granddaughters.

John was on the governing body of Troy Grove for several years. After moving to Mendota in 1988, he became very interested in city government and eventually was elected as councilman for the 2nd ward. He truly enjoyed this experience, took it seriously and wanted what was best for the city of Mendota. He volunteered at the Hume-Carnegie Museum, especially with maintenance, the Union Depot Railroad Museum, and the Breaking the Prairie Museum where he was a board member. John’s greatest love was his grand girls, Deanna’s three daughters, Kendra, Kayli and Karlee. He loved to do things for them and they were so kind and loving to him.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the Mendota Fire Department, Mendota Police Department, Mendota Museum & Historical Society or Mendota Area Senior Services (MASS).

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