Ex-detective loved family, football

Sandra Emerson, Correspondent
Sep 17, 2008

Terry K. Pearson, a former detective for the Los Angeles Police Department and beloved jokester, passed away at home last month, according to his family. He was 60.

Pearson died Aug. 26 after a long battle with brain cancer, but according to Mahin Pearson, his wife of 33 years, his mind stayed active despite the illness. "We would watch television, talk and discuss things," she said.

He was always very funny and everybody loved his sense of humor. His jokes made you happy and feel comfortable." Services were held Sept. 4 at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. Pearson, who was living in Northridge when he died, was honored for his police work by an honor guard and many guests who knew and cared for him.

"He made me promise not to cry," said Mahin. It was difficult, but I had to keep it. I wanted the service to be very happy. Our sons and his old partner talked about all the funny things he used to do." Pearson was born June 29, 1948, in Upland, where he lived until his family relocated to the Los Angeles area, where he attended Fairfax High School until his parents moved back to Upland.

Pearson stayed behind and joined the Los Angeles Police Department where he worked for 32 years. "Being a police officer, when we were out he always told us to try and help him out and help other people," said his youngest son, Courtney Pearson, 24. "He was good and that's why he influenced my brother and me."

Courtney Pearson and his brother, Christopher, 26, are following in their father's footsteps, and joining the LAPD. Terry Pearson not only had a professional influence on his sons, but also shared in many activities with them, including football and air shows. "These three were always together," Mahin Pearson said. "They weren't just like father and sons, they were three friends."

Pearson shared his love of University of Southern California football with his sons and friends. "We tried to make it to one game a year," Christopher Pearson said. "We would have a couple people over every weekend for USC games and watch them in the den. We were all crazy fanatics with him."

According to his family, Terry Pearson was an avid reader and had more than 6,000 books in his home library. Pearson is survived by his wife, their two sons, and his brother Larry.