From a contemporary press report:
Helmer Sheppard Pearson, 84, who served in the Coast Guard for more than 30 years before retiring in 1974 as a rear admiral, died of a pulmonary embolism February 2, 2001, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Admiral Pearson, a native of Fairfield, Alabama, was a 1941 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. During World War II, he served on convoy duty in the Atlantic and Pacific. He received a master's degree in electronic engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1949. After that, his assignments included research on submarine noise for the Navy.
In 1956, he was named assistant chief of electronics engineering. He was promoted to rear admiral in 1969 and then spent the next four years as chief of the Coast Guard's office of engineering. His last assignment was as head of the First Coast Guard District in Boston, a post he held in 1973 and 1974.
Survivors include his wife, Nell Pearson of Silver Spring; a daughter, Lynn Pearson Russell of Alexandria; two sons, H.S. Pearson of Sharpsburg and Cliff I. Pearson of Silver Spring; and six grandchildren.
3 February 2001
From: Commandant, Coast Guard Washington, D. C.
To: All Coast Guard Stations
Subject; Death of Coast Guard Flag Officer
The Commandant announces with regret the death on 2 February 2001 of Rear Admiral Helmer S. Pearson, United States Coast Guard.
Admiral Pearson gruaduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1941. He served in World War II on board the USCG Cutter Campbell escorting convoys to England. He also served aboard the USCG Cutter Mojave, the USS Hunter Liggett and the USS Brownsville.
After World War II, he received an M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Later he served as Commander of other shore and afloat units, which included a tour as Commanding Officer of the USCG Cutter Duane from 1963 to 1965.
He was promoted to flag rank on 31 January 1969 and assigned as Chief, Office of Engineering, where he oversaw the development of the USCG Cutter Polar Star and the 41-foot utility boat. This was followed by his assignment as the First District Commander.
Admiral Pearson retired in 1974. He was born on 16 November 1920.
Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, 15 February 2001, with services as the Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, Virginia, at 1245 on that date.
HELMER SHEPPARD PEARSON
Rear Admiral, United States Coast Guard (Retired)
Died on Friday, February 2, 2001, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC., of Silver Spring, MD. Beloved husband of Nell Mellott Pearson; father of Major Helmer S. (Gail) Pearson, Jr., USAR Ret., Lynn Pearson (Dr. William A.) Russell and Captain Clifford I. (Judy A.) Pearson US Coast Guard; grandfather of Elizabeth A. Pearson, Edward Russell, Emily Russell, Claire Pearson, Hannah Pearson and Erik Pearson. Also survived by many other relatives. Services will be held at Fort Myer Chapel with full military honors on Thursday, February 15, at 12:45 p.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that expressions of sympathy be made in the form of a contribution to U.S. Coast Guard, Academy Chapel Fund, 47 Mohegan Avenue, New London, CT 06320 or to the Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW, Washington, DC 20016-5098 or to a charity of your choice.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard