Robert McIntyre Pearce – Colonel, United States Army

Colonel Robert M. Pearce died September 27, 2005, at Bethany House Hospice in Auburn, Alabama. He was born to Mary McIntyre Pearce and William Bodley Pearce in Louisville, Kentucky. On November. 18, 1919.

Colonel Pearce was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. (June 1944) where he lettered on the Army football team. Eight days after graduation he married Betsey Yow Pearce of High Point, North Carolina.

During his 30 year career in the military, Colonel Pearce served with a French Company in St. Nazaire France during World War II.

After World War II, he received a MS in aeronautical engineering from New York University. He was subsequently assigned to the nuclear bomb project at White Sands, New Mexico.  He was instrumental in the development of the Redstone Rocket at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama and later was the Director of Research and Development.

When Col. Pearce retired in 1974, he was the Acting Deputy Commander of the United States Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal. In addition to his work on rockets and missiles, Colonel Pearce was on the team that negotiated the turnover of Okinawa back to Japan. Two of his more interesting assignments included naming the first monkeys in space (Alpha and Baker) at a White House conference and serving as the military escort for the governor of Kentucky during John Kennedy's inauguration.

Colonel Pearce is preceded in death by his son, Robert McIntyre Pearce Jr. He is survived by his wife Betsy Yow Pearce, daughter Perry Elizabeth Pearce, her husband Douglas Arthur Benton of Ono Island, Alabama. His son David Yow Pearce of Browns, Alabama, and his wife Fran Weissinger Pearce, his grandchildren, Major and Mrs. David Alan Reeder Jr. of Atlanta, Mr.and Mrs. David (Lynn) Yow Pearce Jr. of Browns, Ala. and Mr. and Mrs. William (Beth)
Weissinger Pearce, of Selma and his great-great grandchildren, Jackson David Pearce and Mary Ashlyn Pearce.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Holy Trinity Church in Auburn, followed by a visitation. Internment will be at Arlington National Cemetery.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Yow Pearce

Elizabeth “Betsy” Yow Pearce died on October 9, 2005 at Bethany House Hospice in Auburn,

Betsy was born March 29, 1924 to Winnie Vail and David T. Yow in High Point, North Carolina. Betsy's great grandfather: Seborn Perry was one of the early founders of High  Point. Betsy's mother started the first Girl Scout Troop in North Carolina and Betsy was active in Girl Scouts throughout her life. Her father was a part owner of the Hi Toms, a  minor league baseball team.

Betsy graduated from Ashley Hall in Charleston. South Carolina, in 1941. She received a B.S. in home economics from The College of William and Mary in 1944 where she was a member of the Chi Omega Sority.

Betsy met her future husband Robert McIntyre Pearce in the summer of 1943 when he was a West Point cadet visiting Williamsburg Virginia. They were married on June 14, 1944.

Most of Betsy's life was spent supporting her husband's Army career, other military wives, the Girl Scouts, Chi Omega and the Episcopal Church. Betsy was also an avid golfer, played in numerous golf tournaments and was active in a number of ladies eighteen hole golf associations in Florida and Alabama.

Betsy will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on December 8, 2005 with her husband Colonel (ret,) Robert McIntyre Pearce, who died at Bethany House Hospice on September 27, 2005. Prior to his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1974 Colonel Pearce was the acting Deputy Commanding General of the United States Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. There will be a service for the Pearces at the chapel at Arlington Nationa1
Cemetery at 9 a.m. prior to military honors and burial.

After Betsy was diagnosed with Parkinsons in 2000 they moved to Azalea Place. Her Parkinsons was treated by Dr. Alan Freeman of the Emory Clinic.

 In addition to her husband she was preceded in death by their son Robert McIntyre Pearce, Jr. who died in March of 1999 in San Diego, California, from cancer related to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Betsy is survived by her daughter Perry Elizabeth Pearce Benton and her husband Douglas Arthur Benton of Ono Island, Alabama; her grandson Major David Alan Reeder and wife Lynn of Atlanta, Georgia; son David Yow Pearce and wife Fran of Browns, Alabama; her grandson David Yow Pearce, Jr. , wife Lynn; and great grandchildren Jackson and Mary Ashlyn of Browns, Alabama, her grandson William Weissinger Pearce, wife Beth and great granddaughter Anne Frances Pearce of Selma, Alabama.

Other survivors include Betsy's grand daughter Jessica Davidson and great grand daughter Emma Dillard of Birmingham and grandson Robbie McIntyre Logan of Katy, Texas.

A funeral service will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn, Alabama on October 11, 2005 at 3 p.m, with visitation following the service.

In lieu of flowers the family request memorial donations to The Superintendent's Fund, in memory of Cot Robert M. Pearce Class of 1944, United States Military Academy, 698 Mills Road, West Point, New York 10966, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 North Church St., Auburn, Alabama 36830 or the charity of choice.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 11/18/1919
  • DATE OF DEATH: 09/27/2005


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 03/28/1924
  • DATE OF DEATH: 10/09/2005

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