February 15, 1924 ~ December 26, 2022 (age 98)
Services for Robert Newton Pierce, 98, will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan 2, at First Baptist Church in Gordon. Burial will follow at New Gordon Cemetery.
Robert was born in Palo Pinto County to Mortie Webster “Webb” and Cora Bell Wilson Pierce. He was baby brother to Leonard “Red” Pierce. He attended school in Gordon, TX graduating in 1941. In 1942, Robert joined the Army Air Corps and trained as a pilot. His B-17 Squadron 861, part of the 493rd Bombardment Group, was stationed at Debach Airfield in Suffolk County, England. He flew combat missions over France and Czechoslovakia and also participated in the Chowhound Food Missions in Holland near the end of the war. The food drop missions alleviated starvation in German-occupied Holland in 1945. Dad remembered vividly the appreciative faces, waves and excitement from the civilians during those food drops. Serving our country in WWII as a B-17 pilot was one of Dad’s proudest achievements.
After WWII, Robert married Evelyn Stallings and they started their family in Gordon. In 1950 he obtained a B.S. in Agricultural Education from what is now known as Texas A&M University. A few years later, Robert completed his M.S. in Education Management at A&M.
Robert’s role as superintendent of schools started in Desdemona followed by Ackerly Sands. R.N. moved the family to Jayton in July 1963 after accepting the superintendent position there. He was fully engaged in the school community. Improvements and additions were made to school facilities and he served as a mentor to staff and students. R.N. eagerly supported the school by attending UIL competitions, sporting events, marching band competitions, concerts, theater performances, etc. He also served in State teacher associations and organizations. Robert actively fought to change the UIL classification system to remove the one Class B category and move all schools into Class A categories. That battle was eventually won. After 23 years of dedicated service to Jayton-Girard ISD, he retired in June 1986.
Ranching was a side job for R.N. throughout life. When he wasn’t busy handling school business, he was spending time on the farm in Gordon. After retirement, Robert served on the Jayton school board for several years. He loved the smalltown lifestyle and was a member of the First Baptist Church.
Robert always loved reading newspapers, magazines and watching the news. He enjoyed the Aggies, Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers and NASCAR. An avid car lover, he even restored a Model T. His four main food groups were beef, bacon, ice cream and Dr. Pepper. Sharing stories of his full and colorful life with family and friends was one of his favorite pastimes.
Survivors include four children; Annette Sherrod and Anita Pierce of Stephenville, Roger Pierce and wife, Heidi, of Houston, Jamie Pierce of Austin; four grandchildren, Trevor Tidwell and wife, Christeen, of League City, Lance Tidwell and wife, Angela, of Prosper, Molly Pierce and John Weiss of Houston, William Pierce of Houston; six great-grandchildren, Lorelai, Lucas, Charles and Clara Tidwell, Robert Tidwell, Paige Weiss; and nephew Bill Pierce.
He was preceded in death by his wife Evelyn, son-in-law Rick Sherrod, great-granddaughter Sarah Beth Tidwell, brother Leonard “Red” Pierce and niece Cathy Pierce Gordon.