Pierson, Hugh Ot­tho

Albuquerque Journal - - OBITUARIES -

Hugh Ot­tho Pierson, age 95, passed away on Sun­day, Au­gust

27, 2017 at his home in San­dia Park. His was a life well-lived, filled with in­tel­lec­tual cu­rios­ity, ex­plo­ration, and a love of mu­sic, good wine, and con­ver­sa­tion.

He was born De­cem­ber 21, 1921 in Paris, France and grew up nearby in Gisors. Hugh earned a de­gree in chem­istry and was en­ter­ing the French Naval Academy when Ger­many in­vaded France. Dur­ing Nazi oc­cu­pa­tion of France, Hugh and a friend fled to the south of France, across the Pyre­nees Moun­tains and into Spain. Af­ter a cou­ple of months in a Span­ish mil­i­tary prison, the two were re­leased and pro­ceeded to Eng­land. Hugh joined the Free French Naval Forces, serv­ing on the French Navy’s Mo­tor Pa­trol Boat 98, the equiv­a­lent of an Amer­i­can PT Boat. His mil­i­tary ca­reer came to an end af­ter WWII, achiev­ing the rank of First Lieu­tenant and Cap­tain of MTB 98, while re­ceiv­ing the Croix de Guerre avec Etoile Bronze. Af­ter the war, Hugh took a job in French Cameroon (now Repub­lic of Cameroon) where he met Lois Mae Guest, an Amer­i­can teach­ing school in the coun­try. They mar­ried and moved to the United States.

The new cou­ple started a fam­ily, which over 10 years grew to in­clude five chil­dren – Hugh O. Jr., Lois Karen, Ge­orge Dou­glas, Pa­tri­cia Rey, and Ken­neth Robert. Each of the chil­dren was born in a dif­fer­ent state, but the fam­ily es­tab­lished roots in the East Moun­tains in 1960. Lois and Hugh grieved the death of Hugh Jr. in 1968 and Patti in 1991. Hugh and Lois helped Patti’s hus­band, Cur­tis John­son, raise their two chil­dren, Pa­trick and Hannah, as Cur­tis re­built his life in the East Moun­tains. Hugh en­joyed spend­ing time with all his fam­ily in­clud­ing: Doug’s wife, Beth Leonard, and their daugh­ter, Emma; Kenny’s wife, Julie Lud­wick, and their son, Alexan­der; and Lois Karen’s hus­band, Nick Mullins. Hugh con­sid­ered Amy Robin­son, and Cur­tis and Amy’s daugh­ter, Claire, as fam­ily. Hugh and Lois di­vorced in the early 1970s, and later in that decade Hugh mar­ried Dorothy John­son. His new fam­ily in­cluded Dorothy’s chil­dren from a pre­vi­ous mar­riage, Steve, Kathy and Eric. Hugh worked as a chem­i­cal en­gi­neer at San­dia Na­tional Lab­o­ra­to­ries where he re­mained for more than 20 years. Dur­ing the later years at San­dia, Hugh took a leave of ab­sence and worked as a Ful­bright Scholar in Lima, Peru, re­search­ing en­ergy so­lu­tions. Af­ter re­tir­ing from San­dia Labs, he worked with the gov­ern­ment of Ecuador, sit­ing so­lar en­ergy fa­cil­i­ties, and later, as a pri­vate con­sul­tant re­search­ing high­tem­per­a­ture chem­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tion.

Three of Hugh’s loves were art, out­doors­man­ship, and fur­ther­ing his knowl­edge of science, na­ture, and cul­ture. Hugh was a painter and sculp­tor, and his works re­flected his in­ter­ests in mu­sic, his­tory, na­ture, and ex­plo­ration. He was an avid hiker and moun­tain climber, hik­ing all over the world well into his 80s and scal­ing peaks such as Co­topaxi and Chimb­o­razo in Ecuador, Mt Etna in Si­cily, among many oth­ers. Al­though in his later years he was no longer able to phys­i­cally ex­plore his world, Hugh stud­ied, read, and wrote un­til his last days. He will be sorely missed by his chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, his ex­tended fam­ily here and in France, and friends around the world.

Friends and fam­ily are wel­come to at­tend his Cel­e­bra­tion of Life on Oc­to­ber 7th, 2017. For in­for­ma­tion, call Cur­tis John­son at (505) 263-1410 or visit: goo.gl/3tkWts.

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