Cover photo for Don Eugene "Gene" Pierson's Obituary
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Don Eugene "Gene" Pierson

August 30, 1959 — June 21, 2023

Don Eugene "Gene" Pierson

Don Eugene “Gene” Pierson went home to his Heavenly Father on June 21, 2023, just 2.5 weeks after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of advanced cancer. He passed away in his Post Falls home surrounded by the love of his family.

Gene was born on August 30th, 1959 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Don and Sheila Pierson. He was the oldest of 9 children and loved his role as big brother. Gene was the ultimate oldest child—the overachiever, relentless teaser, and fierce protector of his siblings. Gene was proud to grow up in a large family where everyone felt welcome and loved. He often shared memories of his parents bringing both strangers and friends into their lives when they needed a place to go. Gene always said that their family didn’t have much, but they always had plenty of love to go around. Gene and his siblings were great friends. He could always sweet talk his sisters into making him a sandwich and loved challenging his brothers to try to beat him in sports. As adults, they would often spend family reunions talking and laughing together until the wee hours of the morning. Gene and his siblings loved, supported and respected each other, in large part because of his example.

As a youth, Gene excelled in school and loved competitive team sports. Gene played both football and basketball at the collegiate level and many other sports recreationally. He had a vibrant social life and was known for his long flowing hair and Tom Selleck mustache. He especially loved taking his dates swing dancing and to sporting events. Gene met his future wife at a basketball tournament and won her heart by taking her dancing.

Gene married Norine West on December 27th, 1983 in the Cardston temple. She was truly the love of his life. As his health began to decline in recent months, he often joked that she should trade him in for a “newer model”. She retorted that after nearly 40 years, he had probably lost all his trade in value, so she would just have to keep him. Gene and Norine are the parents of two daughters, Britney (Holden) and Darci (Weber). Their daddy taught them to read, ride bikes, believe in themselves, and to trust God. He coached all their sports teams (even though they were unfortunately NOT athletic), and fully supported them in their many musical endeavors. They knew he believed in them. Gene was the peacemaker in his house full of girls. He was the homework helper and put up with many tears as they went through school. Gene supported his girls college and career choices and wanted them to be strong and independent. He enthusiastically played girly games like “Pretty Pretty Princess”, and continued the tradition with his granddaughters. He loved to make his girls laugh and have late-night chats. He genuinely valued their opinion and interests. 
 
As young parents, Gene and Norine felt God call them to move from their homeland in Canada to Salem, Oregon. They sold everything and moved in the fall of 1991. This move was difficult at first, but provided many important opportunities for their children and cherished lifelong friendships. Two years ago, Gene and Norine again felt that call to move. This time, it was to northern Idaho to be near their daughters and grandchildren. They heeded the call, and have been able to spend nearly every day for the last 18 months with their family. God knew they needed this time together.

Professionally, Gene was an attorney, a real estate broker, day trader, small business owner, general contractor, and at one point—a stay at home dad. He gave everything to each role he played. He was always joking about his “next career” and loved to learn new things. He was a talented artist and used this skill to create his own custom home, where he and his family lived for over 20 years. He was known for his kindness, attention to detail, and creativity among his clients. He is well-prepared for his next career as an angel.

In his spare time, Gene loved to golf, travel and play at the lake. He was always looking for new golf buddies and fun places to visit with his family. He loved taking friends and family out on their Sea Doos. Gene welcomed his son-in-laws with open arms and loved talking sports, politics, stocks and family life with them. 

Gene was a man of great faith. He and his wife were active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all their lives. Gene served in many capacities in the church and especially loved helping youth and local leadership grow closer to Jesus. As a young man, Gene served for two years in France and Belgium as a missionary . He came to love the French language, people and the food! He often sang lullabies to his girls in French when he tucked them in at night. In the weeks before his passing, he loved reading “Escargot” (a hilarious story about a beautiful and fierce French snail) to his grandchildren.

Gene was an eternal optimist who saw the best in people and things. He saved everything. He loved antiques, and his garage was full of bargain finds that he planned to restore to new life someday. It was so full in fact, that when his passing was imminent, the family spent hours pouring through boxes of files, climbing over mole traps and old real estate signs, in search of his will. Thankfully, the document was eventually found in the basement of his old office building by a dear friend and business partner. The family had to laugh at Gene’s unique priorities. 
 
Gene’s genuine love for people was evident in the many who came together to support him and his family over the last few weeks. To be loved by him was to feel seen, heard, and genuinely known.

The greatest joy of Gene’s life were his 8 grandchildren, ranging ages 2-14. He played an active role in all of their lives. He did all the best voices for bedtime stories, the coolest tricks in the pool, gave the biggest hugs, played “tickle kids”, and gave “ni-night kisses”. He was there for them when they were scared and cheered them on in everything they tried. He had a special relationship with each child and truly loved being their “Papa”.

Gene is preceded in death by his little sister Christine, an infant niece Olivia, and both sets of grandparents. What a beautiful heavenly reunion he must be having.

He is survived by his parents and remaining 7 younger siblings: Dave, Tony (Lori), Cindy (Rob Cooper), Cheri (Teague Bates), Jeremy (Christi), Cathy (Paul Walton), and Rob (Megan) and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his wife Norine (West), children Britney (Stephen Holden) and Darci (Tysen Weber) and grandchildren: Emrie (14), Carter (12), Cade (10), Parker (7) and Callie (5) Holden, and Cooper (7), Emmalee (5) and Isabelle (2) Weber.

There is no way to fill the void that will be in our lives without our Papa. Because of him, we believe that Heaven is real and he will be there, joyously reunited with loved ones gone before, free of pain and earthly limitations, and loving us from afar until we meet again. We take comfort in the peace that only Jesus can bring in the meantime.
 
There will be a visitation held on Tuesday, June 27th at 9:00 AM with the Funeral Service at 10:00 AM at English Funeral Chapel in Post Falls, Idaho.  The Graveside will follow at 2:00 PM at Riverview Cemetery in Coeur d Alene.  
 
These services will be recorded and streamed live. In the event the service is interrupted at any time due to technical issues, the entire service will be uploaded and available to view later in the day.
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