Dudley Gatewood Pearson
Despite ups and downs in his health in recent years - and surviving esophageal cancer - Dudley Pearson, 73, lived a full and happy life until he died peacefully on Monday, August 21, 2017 of COPD at Piedmont Hospital.
Dudley had a distinguished career in the financial services industry and enjoyed a 25-year tradition of monthly lunches with his E. Rivers Elementary School classmates and frequent "power lunches" with up to a dozen high school classmates at the White House in Buckhead. He treasured monthly golf trips with three golfing buddies. He traveled with his wife and blended family - five children and 13 grandchildren - and spent many enjoyable times in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Charleston, South Carolina; and on the beach at Amelia Island, Florida.
Dudley Gatewood Pearson was born in Atlanta on September 8, 1943 to Terrell Brooks and Julia Gatewood Pearson. After E. Rivers Elementary School, he attended The Westminster Schools and graduated from Culver Military Academy in Indiana. He earned a BA in Economics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Favorite summer jobs during college included driving a Frito-Lay delivery truck in London and working at Disneyland in California.
Dudley earned an MBA at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and served as an airman for two-and-a-half years in the U.S. Air Force. He was employed for 45 years in the financial industry, most recently as a senior vice president of Wells Fargo Advisors. He generously shared his knowledge and experience, mentoring young professionals.
Almost 30 years ago, Dudley met Sue Pugh Dennard of Valdosta, at the Lumpkin, Georgia funeral of his aunt who, at one time, had tried to introduce them. Sue became his sweetheart, wife, and best friend, going to movies and traveling to St. Maartens and other Caribbean islands and various parts of Europe.
Dudley was a true Southern gentleman with impeccable manners and the ability to converse with all. One friend called him "sterling silver," always doing the right thing, modestly diverting attention from himself, taking interest in and listening to others. He was an avid reader, devouring The Wall Street Journal daily. Patriotic to the core, he was proud to be an American, and was an encyclopedic resource of Atlanta history, a town he deeply loved. Dudley handled his illnesses with courage and grace.
In addition to his wife, Sue, Dudley is survived by his two sons to whom he was devoted for their character, work ethic, and moral compass: John (Margi) of Fairhope, Alabama and Bryant (Emily) of Charleston, South Carolina. He is also survived by their children: Jean and Brooks Pearson of Fairhope, and Lila Brooks and Harrison Pearson of Charleston. Important members of this blended family are his step-children: Julie Godbee (Jim) of Valdosta, Melanie Landers
(Bob) of Marietta, and Jed Dennard (Stephanie) of Atlanta and their children: Katherine, James and Grace Godbee of Valdosta; Callie, Lindsey and Tommy Landers of Marietta; and Lily, Caelan and Josie Dennard of Atlanta. Neville Uhles Cola and Jim Uhles, the children of Dudley's late wife's sister, also survive him.
Dudley was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Terrell Brooks Pearson, Jr. (2016); and his first wife and mother of his children, Neville Stoneham Pearson (2012).
Dudley was member of the Racquet Club and an honorary life member of the Piedmont Driving Club. He was a past member of the board of directors of the Round Table and Settindown Creek Golf Club. He also served on the advisory board of the Elaine Clark Center, a child learning center. He was a member of the board of directors of Interstate Johnson Lane, a New York Stock Exchange firm; and a branch manager and regional manager of Interstate Johnson Lane.
Dudley was a lifelong member of Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church where a service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 30. A reception at the Piedmont Driving Club will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, 2715 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 or www.spdl.org; or the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517 or woundedwarriorproject.org.
Published on August 24, 2017