In memory of our friend,
Mason Pratt Pearsall, Sr. - W5VUM
March 9, 1921 - September 30, 2001
Obituary from the Houston Chronicle, Oct 3, 2001:
Mason Pratt Pearsall, Sr., age 80, died on Sunday, September 30, 2001. The son of Chester Burdick and Roxana Pratt Pearsall, he was born on March 9, 1921 in Rochester, New York, where he grew up and graduated High School in 1939. As a young man he was interested in Boy Scouts (Eagle Scout), sailing, ham radio, playing the trumpet (jazz) and running cross-country and the mile on the school track teams. He attended Lehigh University from 1939 to January 1943, receiving a B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering. His six children were born between 1947 and 1960.
After college, he went to work for the Naugatuck Chemical Co. in Connecticut helping develop a synthetic rubber manufacturing process as part of the war effort. He worked for several small chemical manufacturing companies in Connecticut and Maryland before establishing the Clinton Chemical Co. in Clinton, New Jersey in 1953 to produce anhydrous aluminum chloride, an industrial catalyst. This business started part-time while he supported his family with consulting work in New York, later became Pearsall Chemical Co. He ran the company for 27 years, eventually becoming the largest U.S. producer of aluminum chloride, as well as a significant factor in several other specialty chemical businesses. In 1980, the business was sold to Witco Corp.
His hobbies as an adult included golf and tennis, and later running. He completed several marathons, including the Houston and Boston marathons in 1978. He had a life-long interest in airplanes, earning a private pilot license in the early fifties and later adding instrument and multi-engine ratings. He owned and operated over a dozen different airplanes, which he used for business and personal travel and eventually accumulated more than 4,000 hours flying time. After retirement, he became interested in soaring and obtained a glider rating. In his late sixties till the late nineteen eighties, he owned a number of boats, mostly sailboats. His main interest was cruising; however, he did become interested in racing for one or two seasons, and around 1971 captured first in class in the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit in a 41 foot C&C sloop. After retirement in 1980, he lived on several different boats and cruised the waters of New England, Southern California, Hawaii, Baja and the Gulf of California, through the Panama Canal into the Caribbean, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Florida, the Bahamas and Bermuda.
In 1996, he and his wife, Shirley, moved to Belize, where they built a bungalow on the coast near Corazol. They lived there until returning to Houston this spring for medical treatment. He was a quiet man. He was generally modest in success. He had many plans and projects, and rarely complained or became cynical or bitter when met with misfortune.
Mason is survived by his wife, Shirley Pearsall; daughters, Holly Kilpatrick of East Bangor, PA and Deborah Pearsall of Mt. Bethel, PA; sons, Richard Pearsall, Mason Pearsall, Jr., James Pearsall, all of Houston, and John Pearsall of Easton, PA; 12 grandchildren, one great grandson; sisters, Molly Pearsall Dickson and Alice Pearsall Tilley; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives. Friends are invited to visitation with the family from 5 P.M. until 7 P.M. on Friday, October 5, 2001 in the Drawing Room of the Settegast-Kopf Co. Funeral Directors, 3320 Kirby Drive. A funeral service will be held in Point Comfort, TX at 2 P.M. on Saturday, October 6, 2001 at Point Comfort Church of Christ, 808 Lamar. Interment will follow in Port Lavaca in Greenlawn Gardens.