Leo Edward Pearman

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November 4, 1934 - April 26, 2014.

Visitation for Leo Edward Pearman, 79, of Rapid City will be Monday, May 5, 2014 at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home in Rapid City from 5-7 p.m. followed by a wake service at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. MT on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at St. Martin’s Chapel at Sturgis with Father Arnold Kari celebrating. Interment with military honors will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery. Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home was in care of the arrangements. Leo was born November 4, 1934 to Caroline Werlinger and Lawrence Pearman at Ridgeview. He passed from this life on April 26, 2014 at Golden Livingcenter Meadowbrook in Rapid City. After the death of his mother in 1945, Leo lived with his aunt and uncle, Margaret and Adam Schlosser in rural Timber Lake. There he was raised with his cousins Tony, Wayne, Bernice, Larry, Jim, Willard ‘Bill’, Joe and Dorothy Schlosser. He attended Timber Lake Public School. On December 1, 1952, Leo was inducted into the United States Navy and stationed in San Diego, CA. His naval career included serving on various Navy ships and many tours of duty including Japan and Italy. In August of 1967, under the command of Senior Commander, Lt. William Fitzgerald, Leo and two other advisors along with the South Vietnamese camp where they were stationed, were overrun by a battalion of Viet Cong and Lt. Fitzgerald was mortally wounded. For his action during this incursion Leo received the Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart. Leo’s other military honors include the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Award and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Years later, in October of 1994, Leo had the honor of taking part in the commissioning of the USS Fitzgerald in Newport, RI. The ship was named in honor of Lt. Fitzgerald. On March 23, 1970 Leo married Tamae (Carol) Kojima at the American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. She died of cancer on October 24, 1987. Leo retired as Sr. Chief Boatswains Mate after serving 21 years in the US Navy. He and Tamae moved to Long Beach, CA where he was employed by Crawley Maritime Corp. In 1987 Leo was employed as a Ship’s (Harbor) Pilot for the Naval Waterfront Operations Department Port Services at Naval Station San Diego. He piloted carriers, submarines and other navel vessels in and out of San Diego Harbor. Leo married Marge (Ostrom) Solberg of Timber Lake in August of 1994. They lived in San Diego, CA for 5 years before Leo’s retirement in 1999. They moved back to South Dakota making their home between Rapid City and Mesa, AZ. Leo loved the ranch life, helping his cousin John, riding horses and spending time with the Kari family on their ranch near Bison. Leo was introduced to his Pearman relatives later in life and enjoyed meeting and visiting with all his aunts and cousins. He attended many family gatherings, rodeos, and round ups and had great times with everyone. Leo enjoyed his days spent in Timber Lake. He took pride in his garden and helping Kris and Roger Lawien with lawn care. He was an avid walleye fisherman, spending many days in his boat on Lake Oahe near Mobridge. He could golf with the best of them and enjoyed many outings with his buddies in San Diego, Rapid City and Mesa. Leo’s humorous quips and sayings will long be remembered and often repeated by family and friends. He was a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, American Legion, VFW, Fraternal Order of the Moose, and the Elks Lodge. Leo is survived by his wife Marge of Rapid City; step children— Wayne Solberg, Jr. of Hollywood, FL and Kristan (Roger) Lawien of Timber Lake; step-granddaughters— Rebecca (Matt) Wald of Billings, MT, Melissa (Boyce) Reede of Lemmon and Ashley (Clint) Bohnet of Volga; stepgreat-grandchildren— Tyson Kraft; Ryder and Kanon Wald; Dillon, Kole and Molly Reede; Haylee, Macy and Madison Bohnet; a special cousin, Julianna Kari and a host of friends. He is preceded in death by his first wife Tamae, his parents and his guardian aunt, Martha Feltis. A memorial will be established. (Marge Pearman’s address is 1040 Fir Ct., Rapid City, SD 57701.)
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