In Memory of Michael Pearson
Michael Glenn Pearson, age 71, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 6, 2020 at Aspen Acres Assisted Living in Hayward, WI, from early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. He was born September 18, 1948 in Denver, Colorado, the son of Glenn Walter and Donna Jean (Beyer) Pearson.
Michael graduated from Colorado State University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science in science education. He later completed his Master of Science in natural science at the University of Wyoming in 1991, with a concentration in science education. A lifelong traveler and educator, Michael began his teaching career in the Cheyenne, Wyoming, School District, from 1971-1988, with a stint at the Damascus Community School in Damascus, Syria, from 1978-80. During his time in Cheyenne, he was awarded the “Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching” from former President Ronald Reagan in 1985, was named a NASA Teacher in Space National Finalist for the Challenger in 1986, and was a NASA Ambassador. Michael was also a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Phi Delta Kappa and Natural Trust for Historic Preservation. His initial experience of teaching in Syria led to a fulfilling career teaching in international schools throughout Asia from 1988-2009, in Bangkok, Thailand; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Tokyo, Japan; and Shunyi and Guangzhou, China. An excellent and beloved teacher, he is admired by students and colleagues around the world. During this time, Michael lived in and/or visited more than 70 countries worldwide and spoke Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Mandarin, German, and Arabic.
He returned to the U.S. during summers and holidays to connect with family and friends. Based in Cheyenne, he volunteered and served on committees for Cheyenne Frontier Days, spent time at the Elks Club, and restored his historic Victorian home. Upon returning to the United States in 2010, he worked for the Wyoming Office of Tourism, until his early onset Alzheimer’s Disease prevented him from working further. He managed his illness directly, openly, and generously, volunteering for drug trials, participating in the Ft. Collins Alzheimer’s Association and the National Early Stage Alzheimer’s Group, ultimately speaking at the National Alzheimer’s Association Annual Conference in Washington DC. In 2015, Michael moved to Hayward, Wisconsin to be closer to family, especially his sister, Kathi. There, he volunteered packing meals for Food4Kids and enjoyed hiking local trails, sight-seeing, practicing yoga, going out for happy hour, and making many new friends.
Michael made the most of his life, reveling in new experiences and having fun. Quick to joke and laugh, he brought smiles and warmth to all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Guests at his legendary get-togethers enjoyed sumptuous feasts and wonderful times. A man of diverse interests, he enjoyed classical music, playing the pipe organ, bowling, hiking, skiing, baking Christmas cookies, hanging out with his nieces and nephews, and guiding trips for the lucky friends and family who accompanied him on adventures as far-flung as Bali and as near as the hardware store. Michael had great taste and bargaining skills, and enjoyed collecting antiques, artifacts and art throughout his travels. In his homes, visitors were immersed in the varied objects that told the story of a life lived fully. He will be remembered and treasured as a kind, adventurous, and gentle soul.
Michael is survived by his sister, Kathi Dunn (Ron Hobart) of Hayward, WI; his brother, Dr. Scott (Amy) Braley of Roseville, CA; nieces Dr. Hannah (Michael) Ryan, Mara Ryan, Avery and Blake Braley; and nephews Logan Braley and Anders Ryan. He is preceded in death by his parents.
An online celebration of life will be held Saturday, April 25 at 5:00 EST, 4:00 CST, 3:00 MST, 2:00 PST, followed by a private gathering for family in his beloved Rocky Mountains. Memorials in Michael’s name may be directed to the national Alzheimer’s Association and Regional Hospice (Ashland, Wisconsin). Michael’s family wishes to express their deepest gratitude for everyone who spent time with him and helped care for him in recent years.