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Yale 62

James Overby Pearson, Jr.

Born: December 20, 1939
Died: December 8, 2020

James O. Pearson, Jr., was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, son of James Overby Pearson and Mary Matheson Pearson. Jim attended Linsly Military Institute serving as Cadet Major his senior year in 1962.

Jim was a resident of Pierson and competed on the Pierson tennis team and was team captain. He also was on Pierson’s touch football, squash and volleyball teams.

Jim was an outstanding all-around athlete. During his high school years in Wheeling, he stood out in football, track, basketball and especially tennis. He was West Virginia State Tennis Champion. After moving to California, Jim excelled at squash and was ranked at the Class A level. He also became a tennis pro while he was in law school.

He attended Yale on an NROTC scholarship. He chose to serve his 4-year service obligation in the United States Marine Corps. Jim was stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. His service was distinguished by being 1st in his class at Naval Justice School in Newport, RI and by being promoted to Captain. After his active military service Jim graduated from UC Berkeley Law School in 1968 and began a 36 year career as a legal editor at Bancroft Whitney Law Book Publishers.

Despite suffering a debilitating stroke in 1995, Jim was able to continue his work as a Legal Editor via telecommuting. He retired in 2017 and was presented with a plaque for being “An outstanding attorney, gifted writer, and respected colleague”. Jim also loved opera, ballet, symphony, and travel. He was able to continue attendance at the San Francisco Ballet until the Covid-19 pandemic. He also maintained his discipline, courage, and unique sense of humor until his last breath, impressing his medical staff and friends.

Jim was preceded in death by his half-sister, Mary Pearson Noble, on September 22, 2020.

He leaves many colleagues and friends, including his former wife, Deborah Delaney to whom he was married from 1962 until 1980. He was also survived by his niece, three nephews and six great-nieces and nephews.

R.G. Oliver