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Leo Pearman was decorated soldier, Vietnam veteran

Leo Edward Pearman, 79, of Rapid City, was born on Nov. 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, and he attended Timber Lake Public School.
On Dec. 1, 1952, Leo was inducted into the United States Navy and stationed in San Diego, Calif. 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, R.I. The ship was named after Lt. Fitzgerald.
On March 23, 1970, Leo married Tamae (Carol) Kojima at the American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. She died of cancancer on Oct. 24, 1987.
Leo retired as Sr. Chief Boatswains Mate after serving 21 years in the U.S. Navy. He and Tamae moved to Long Beach, Calif., 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 naval vessels in and out of San Diego Harbor.
Leo married Marge (Ostrom) Solberg in August of 1994. They lived in San Diego for five years before Leo’s retirement in 1999. They moved back to South Dakota, making their home between Rapid City and Mesa, Ariz.
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, but enjoyed meeting and visiting with all his aunts and cousins. He attended many family gatherings, rodeos, roundups 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 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 members and friends. As a member of the American Legion, VFW, Fraternal Order of the Moose and Elks Lodge, Leo enjoyed his time spent with friends.
Leo is survived by his wife, Marge; stepchildren, Wayne Solberg Jr. and Kristan (Roger) Lawien; granddaughters, Rebecca (Matt) Wald, Melissa (Boyce) Reede and Ashley (Clint) Bohnet; great-grandchildren, Tyson, Ryder and Kanon Wald, Dillon, Kole and Molly Reede, and Macy and Madison Bohnet; a special cousin, Julianna Kari; and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Tamae, his parents and his guardian aunt, Martha Feltis.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at St. Martins Chapel in Sturgis with Father Arnold Kari celebrating.
Interment will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery with military honors, under the direction of Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home of Rapid City.
Condolences may be conveyed to the family at www.behrenwilson.com. A memorial will be established.

 

 

Leo Pearman

Leo Pearman