Charls Pearson (1932-2021)

Charls Pearson (1932-2021)

We regret to inform the world of semiotics, that it has lost one of its own. Dr. Charls Pearson left this world on May 11, 2021, just shy of his 89th birthday.  He passed after several years of ill health, due to complications of type 2 diabetes.

         Charls was very devoted to the study of semiotics and received the first PhD ever given in the field.  Once he discovered his love of semiotics, he ate, slept, breathed and lived it every single day of his life.  He travelled the world to find new converts, and was constantly researching, reading, writing and speaking to anyone who would listen about this field of study that so dominated his life.  Even in his final hours, he regretted that he had to leave this world before finishing all the research he still wanted to do.  His curriculum vitae is available on line for anyone who wants to see the many contributions he made to the field during his many working years.  You can find it here.

         Charls did have many other passions in his life.  He loved making music, both instrumental and vocal.  For many years, while he was able, he participated in ballroom dancing competitions.  He was very active in politics, even during the 2020 election cycle.  He used Zoom to help his fellow retirement village residents get registered to vote, request absentee ballots, and of course to stump for his chosen candidate.  And to see the outcome of that election before he passed allowed him to leave this world feeling like there was still hope for the future. He was an avid gardener and birder and, while physically able, he made sure to go outside every day to see what was blooming and to talk to all his flowers.  He watched any football game that involved Ohio State or any Atlanta team.  He was a lifelong member of Central Presbyterian Church of Atlanta where he met and married his third wife.  Once they moved to a Presbyterian Church retirement center, he stayed active through their outreach ministry and even directed their choir for some time.  He absolutely was a foodie and loved going out to eat as often as possible, although his choice of restaurants ran the gamut from Subway to the finest steak houses. 

         He left behind 4 children – Daughters, Ann Pearson Roberts, Helen Pearson Parks, Sidney(CheriLyn) Pearson and son, Charles Pearson.  As well as four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his third wife, Claire McElveen Pearson.

         He also left behind the largest personal library known to the common man, and enough papers to fill a presidential library.  The stories of his exploits are still being told in his church and retirement village family.  One of the best was the one about his doctoral thesis.  It seems he wrote a 10,000 page thesis that was only read in full by 1 person, his thesis advisor.  And after he was awarded his doctorate, they put a word limit on all theses written in the future at Georgia Technical Institute!!  

Ann Roberts

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