He was an excellent baseball player and graduated from Brilliant High school in 1963. After school, he began working in the steel mills, first in the furnace rooms and then in management focused on creating operational efficiencies along production lines. His time in management was short-lived as managers were not allowed to wear their hair long and after a year on the job, he tired of wearing a short-haired wig to work every day. Bob’s affinity to change jobs and towards sporting an ever-changing set of long hair and beard styles remained with him throughout his days.
During his life Bob had a wide range of health challenges including bladder and prostate cancer, diabetes, leukemia, and chronic pain. Despite being told in his 30s that he didn’t have six months to live, Bob fought on for another four decades and remained a fighter until the very end. He will be remembered as a remarkably gentle man, kind to strangers, honest, often quiet yet surpassingly candid about his life. He was a passionate Steelers fan and is survived by his three sisters Judy, Renee, and Linda Pearce, his two sons Joshua and Charles Pearce, and his three grandchildren Justis, Edward, and Penelope Pearce.
A burial service in his honor was held at the East Springfield Methodist Church graveyard on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 at 6pm where Robert was laid to rest next to his mother, Ethel Ruth Pearce. His family encourages those who knew Bob to write remembrances on his Facebook page at facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000101989242
A New Year’s Eve baby, Robert was born on October 1st, 1944, at Gill Memorial Hospital in Steubenville, Ohio. Despite a materially meager upbringing, with a family of 6 sharing a small house and a single bathroom in the dirt floor basement next to a coal furnace, Bob often remarked upon his childhood in Steubenville in idyllic terms. As a 1950s and 60s youth, Bob was known to have a chip on his shoulder, quick to fight for a friend, and was endlessly teased for his excessively tidy appearance, which is why he has was known as “Rags” by his childhood friends. Known as Bob to most of his adult friends, Pops to his children, and Pap Pap by his grandchildren, he lived a long and joyful life.
Bob’s first marriage was to his childhood sweetheart Linda and the two of them sold everything they owned and moved to California to start a new life in the 1970s. During the 1980s he and his second wife Pamela met and moved to Groveland, California, a former gold mining town on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park. In the 1980s Bob and Pam followed work opportunities in the rapidly growing Orange County California area, where Bob picked up work in construction, optics manufacturing, international plastics sales, car sales, and then his final vocation as a city bus driver in Orange County and then in Las Vegas, Nevada.