John B. Pierson

August 13, 1922January 12, 2014
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Pierson, John Burton Sr., USAF Lt. Col, (retired), passed away Sunday, Jan. 12th, 2014 after a brief illness. John was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, August 13, 1922 to Wilford C. and Addie M. Pierson. He grew up in Indianapolis, graduated from Arsenal Technical High School. December 1942, he entered the Army and then transferred into the Aviation Cadet Program. 2nd Lt. Pierson graduated from the program in April 1944 as a pilot. He was assigned to the 22nd Bomb Group in the South Pacific, completed 42 combat missions and flew 350 combat hours by the end of the war in 1945. Upon returning to the US, he was separated from military service, joining the active Air Force Reserve with the 434th Troop Carrier Wing in Indianapolis. The day after returning from overseas, John met his wife Ruby (Hancock) in November 1945. They were married Feb. 14, 1946 by John’s Grandmother, Lena Spillman, a Pentecostal minister. While out of active duty, John and his father owned and operated a general auto repair shop, until he was called back to serve his country with rank of Captain in 1951. John and family were stationed in England, Germany, Patrick Air Force Base, in FL, Chanute AFB in IL, Clark Field, Philippines until ending his military service at Eglin Air Force Base, Ft. Walton Beach, FL in June 1968. The Pierson family retired to Maitland, Florida where John, in his civilian career, worked for Haney Chevrolet, Florida Gas Modular Housing Project, Southern Liquid Fertilizer and Douglass Fertilizer in the maintenance and repair field.

John was a member of many Masonic affiliated organizations after joining the Masonry in October, 1946. He was inducted into Scottish Rite while in Germany in 1955, became a Noble Shriner in 1980 and was Potentate of Bahia Shrine in 1997. John attended meetings at Mokanna Masonic Lodge. He had joined National Sojourners in 1955 and participated with Seminole Chapter 373 regularly in the Patriotic Flag Programs. John was also a past President and Hero’s Commander of the organization, served as President of the Bahia Shrine RV Club, Oriental Band, Orlando Shrine Club, Kentucky Colonels Club, Ormazd Grotto and was active with Bahia’s Flying Fezzes Unit. He was very supportive of Kismet Court #86, Ladies Oriental Shrine of N.A, always available to make the coffee for their meetings, ready to visit with the other Nobles, sharing jokes and telling stories while the ladies had their meeting.

John and Ruby joined Asbury United Methodist church in the late 1960’s, with John serving on the board and volunteering his time and talents to maintain the church lighting and other duties when needed.

John is survived by Ruby, his beloved wife of nearly 68 years, their 3 children, sons John Jr. (Patty) and Jeff (Maureen), daughter Deborah Zimmerman (Gary), grandchildren Jason (Tami) & Brian (Amy) Zimmerman, Jon Walker, James Pierson, Jessi Torres (Khermes), great granddaughters Peyton Zimmerman, Jocelyn Torres, great-grandson Jacob Pierson, brother Wilford C. Pierson, Jr (Dixie) of Dade City, FL and sister Ruth Joann Case (Howie) of Bethlehem, PA.

A Masonic Memorial Service will be held January 25, 2014 at 2 p.m. at Mokanna Masonic Lodge #329. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mokanna Masonic Lodge or to The Shriners’ Hospitals for Children.

Arrangements are under the care of Woodlawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home, .


  • Masonic Memorial Service Saturday, January 25, 2014

John B. Pierson

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February 13, 2014

Its been a month - we miss you so much.
Love you Daddy, Deb

February 9, 2014

What an honor it has been to know such a wonderful man. Ruby, may your grieving be short and your memories long. Love, Barbara & David Lang

Debbie Farrow

January 25, 2014

Ruby and Debbie Lee, my heart is also breaking. Debbie Dee Farrow, Lake Wales, Fl.

Judy Vickery

January 24, 2014

Ruby, John will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
I first met John when my husband Vic passed away in 1997, he was so nice to me.
I enjoyed being you at the Kentucky Colonels and having fellowship.
My prayers and sympathy are with you and your family

Todd Hancock

January 24, 2014

Aunt Ruby, Jackie, Debbie, and Jeff.. Uncle Johhny will truly be missed. He will always be a bright spot in my memory of your occasional visits to Indy growing up! Funny sincere man who I always have and always will admire. What a Hero. With our Love and Sympathy.

Lee Benedict

January 21, 2014

"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!"

John Meyer

January 20, 2014

Ruby, John was a goof friend and I will miss him. My prayers are with you and your family.

John Meyer

January 20, 2014

Ruby, John was a good friend. My prayers are with you and your family.

John Meyer

January 20, 2014

Sending our condolences to the Pierson family during this hard time. C and I will miss John's jokes, it is something we always looked forward to when we got together. John would be able to bring out C's belly laugh he doesn't share with most. ~With thoughts and love, C & Kate

January 20, 2014

Ruby: John was such an inspiration to Rita and I. We will miss him . You and your family are in our prayers.

Bruce and Rita Williams
Brandenburg, Kentucky