Alden Bryan Pearson, “A B”, was the Rotarian few Rotarians knew.
A quiet, observant man, he held back when Rotarians bantered across the room and “all talked at once.” Distinguishing the individual comments challenged his hearing. Few things challenged his mind.
A B enlisted in the US Navy directly out of high school in 1946. He emerged with the designation Honor Man.
Soon he accepted a football scholarship to Duke, where he majored in economics and played in the last game Wallace Wade coached. A team picture from 1950 shows number 82, defensive end, “a hunk” as his widow, Skip, describes him.
Upon graduation A B worked for Marathon paper in Wisconsin. There he felt the call to the ministry and enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary.
He later wrote Princeton to thank a professor for teaching him to speak before a crowd, something he said he never learned at Duke.
In Wisconsin A B led three small Presbyterian churches as minister in charge of everything. He fished and ice skated but found the life lonely for a single man.
A B returned to Duke, earning a Master’s Degree in International Relations. He taught at Duke and then at The University of Alabama at Huntsville. At a Southern Historical Society meeting in 1969, he was introduced to Skip. Her father did the introducing. Skip was a widow with sons 6, 9 and 11. A B championed raw oysters and jazz and that’s what the couple enjoyed that weekend. Skip says she abandoned her previous plans. The couple were married within three months and A B became father to the three boys.
A B remained at Huntsville, head of the International Program, until he and Skip moved to Concord, NC, to start an executive search firm, Management Recruiters International. Silicone Valley and Microsoft were in their ascendancy and AB placed clients there and with international companies.
Knowing Skip liked old houses, A B bought a once-elegant 1905 structure with a sinking ceiling. Together the couple restored the house, ran the company and travelled.
In 1985 A B joined Rotary in Concord.
After twenty-two years A B sold the business and retired at 78. He and Skip traveled extensively, once staying in a twelfth-century French castle on a surprise trip he had planned.
They began coming to Blowing Rock because A B loved to hear Jim Stuart preach at Rumple.
A B was a smart man–Skip says “brilliant”–who read history, religion and maps. He was reputed to be able to get anybody from anywhere to anywhere. We wish we could have traveled with him longer.