Chuck Pearson

Obituary of Chuck Pearson

Chuck Pearson (Howard Charles), 55 of Libertyville, IL and Ocean City, NJ passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, February 14th 2021. Born and raised in Moorestown, NJ to Esther (nee Knect) and the late Howard Charles Pearson, he was a 1983 graduate of Moorestown High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, class of 1988. Chuck was passionate about many things, one of which was soccer. He started playing in middle school, a bit of a late comer. He excelled at the sport, won various titles while at Moorestown High School and went on to play at Rutgers University. He led the team as Captain for three consecutive years, the only player in the program’s history to receive this honor. Following his senior year, he was named the team’s Alfred B. Sasser Award winner for displaying “the highest qualities of leadership, initiative, team-spirit, and loyalty.” In 2005, Chuck was inducted into the South Jersey Soccer Hall of Fame. He would often say that it was those years on the pitch that shaped him. The game instilled the values of hard work, determination, camaraderie, and grit which he possessed in abundance. When Chuck became a father, he couldn’t have been more excited to coach his two boys, Zachary and Thomas. Thomas fell in love with the game just like his dad, and Chuck coached his teams up until the years of travel soccer when parents take a step back. But Chuck could always be found on the sidelines, pacing back and forth, watching intently, talking to the other parents about their own players, explaining the intricacies of the game and helping out whenever he could. He desperately missed coaching, and to that end, Chuck started the Pearson Soccer Academy, a side business where he offered private coaching to local Libertyville players, as young as grade school and all the up to high school. Coaching and teaching was where he shined and thrived. He will fondly be known by many as “Coach Chuck”. Chuck began his professional career at Schering-Plough in New Jersey, where he held a variety of positions in the sales division for 14 years. In 2006, he was offered the opportunity to start something new at Astellas Pharma in the Chicago suburbs. He took a leap of faith and his family moved half way across the country and settled in Libertyville, IL. He excelled at Astellas, moving from Operations to Sales Training and most recently served as Executive Director of Commercial Learning and Development. Everything led back to training and coaching. This was Chuck’s wheelhouse. His passion for learning and teaching went beyond the walls of Astellas. He served as Vice President of the board of LTEN, a leadership and training organization that promotes learning and skills development in Life Sciences. He also became a Certified Executive Coach, something he planned to pursue in his retirement. Chuck had quite a few hobbies, but one that stands out was the game of golf. While it often frustrated him – “pin high,” he would call out as his ball landed just in line with the green… and thirty yards to the right– he loved everything about it. Being outside, the beauty of the course, the concentration it takes. Every worry, concern, distraction, or thought would melt away as he stood on the tee box or over a par putt. In that moment, time stopped for him and he felt so alive. But what he loved most about the game was the time he got to spend with friends, and most recently, his two sons. Zach and Thomas took up the game – much to Chuck’s joy. They played every chance they could, and those hours on the course were times that Chuck cherished. Even though his Rutgers Red ran strong, Chuck’s wardrobe slowly turned Blue and Gold (with the occasional Kelly Green). Driving out to South Bend to attend Notre Dame football games, Glee Club Concerts and Zach’s many other musical performance’s were some of the best times of his last four years. Then in 2019, Thomas was inducted to the Naval Academy. Chuck and Janice spent countless weekends during the fall of 2019 in Annapolis, visiting Thomas and taking in soccer games. Before his very eyes, Chuck’s two boys were becoming men. And he was so proud. Since meeting in 1989, (their first date was on Valentine's Day), Chuck and Janice shared a love of travel. Their countless trips to places near and far – just the two of them, with friends, colleagues, or their two sons – were something Chuck always looked forward to. Janice would plan the trips, and Chuck would sit back and take it all in. They were a good team. Whether it was the 25-plus trips to Disney World, an RV tour of the west, many trips to Europe, or tropical vacations, Chuck loved each and every experience. It was a priority to get away with Janice and the boys – focusing on each other and making memories to last a lifetime and beyond. It’s difficult to come up with a word to describe Chuck. While the word “nice” may seem trite, it’s definition is: “pleasant in manner; good natured; kind.” Chuck epitomized nice. He was never without a smile. He brought out the best in others because his positivity and optimism were contagious. You just couldn’t be glum around Chuck. Since he was diagnosed with Cancer almost exactly 4 years ago, Chuck never faltered. Never muttered the words, “why me”. He pushed and fought and with each passing day, with every setback – and he had many. He took the time to pray and was thankful for his countless blessings. Cancer became his cross to bear, and Chuck looked to his faith and to Jesus on the Cross as his aid. His smile radiated through it all. A smile that will forever be carved into our memory. Chuck Pearson was one of the good guys. He had so many friends it was beyond comprehension. Whether you were a colleague, a neighbor, or an acquaintance on the 55th Street beach, Chuck valued his time with you. He loved his family to the ends of the earth. He was so very proud of his two sons – his greatest accomplishment. And he revered his wife Janice for her unwavering love and the constant care she gave him during his illness. We don’t say good-bye, we say so long. One of Chuck’s favorite songs is “Let it Be” by the Beatles. Whisper words of wisdom…. I think Chuck would whisper, “just be nice”. Chuck is survived by his wife of 28 years, Janice (nee Milewski), his two son’s Zachary (22) a senior at the University of Notre Dame and Thomas (20) a sophomore at the United States Naval Academy. He also leaves behind his mother, Esther and his two sisters, Jan Cronin (Andrew), and Diane Pearson. Nephew, Kyle Cronin (Sara) and Goddaughter Chelsea Cronin. In-laws, Barbara & Ed Milewski, “brothers” Steven Milewski (Vanessa), their children Anna and Nick, and David Milewski (Rebecca) and daughter Ava. And you can’t end this without mentioning his countless friends – many who were like family. And whom he always said to each one: “I love you” and meant it. We love you, Chuck. We will miss you deeply. And we know we will see you once again in Heaven. A Live Stream of Chuck’s funeral Mass will begin at 1 o’clock on Saturday, February 20, 2021 on the funeral home website. Donations in Chuck’s name can be made to the following: Chuck Pearson South Jersey Soccer Scholarship Fund Annual Scholarship awarded to a South Jersey High School Senior who will play soccer in college (Mail check to Godfrey Funeral Home, payable to Janice Pearson) Marytown, National Shrine of Maximillian Kolbe Libertyville, IL. Donations directly through website: https://www.marytown.com
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