He kept at true good humour's mark
The social flow of pleasure's tide:
He never made a brow look dark,
Nor caused a tear, but when he died.
Thomas Love Peacock
It is always difficult to say goodbye to a loved one. As I get older, I look back on all the friends and family who have passed away through the years and realize how those of us who are left behind cling closer to each other as our circle grows smaller. This is not a bad thing, simply a natural process of life. I now understand that the dull pain of grief can become so much a part of us all as we live our lives that we no longer notice it as something separate or temporary. Hopefully, it increases understanding and compassion for others with the knowledge that this is something we all share.
But sometimes we lose someone so special, someone who brought so much joy into our lives, that the loss is sharp and keenly painful. Such is the case with losing our dear friend, Jack Pierce. Jack and Carson had been a part of the lives of my sister and me since we were children. I was eight and Jean five when we first met this wonderful, loving couple. Jack's irreverent and incredible humor and his capacity for living life to the fullest was with us through childhood, into young adulthood, through our marriages and through the loss of our parents - over fifty years. I have kept several of Jack's hysterically funny letters that he sent me when I was in college and through my adult years. These were bright spots of light and laughter for me no matter what was happening in my life. When I was going through especially hard times, both Jack and Carson were there for me in love and understanding. I consider them my brothers. Now, we have to continue on without Jack and, even though I am very glad he is no longer suffering with illness, I will miss him every day of my life. But, the honor and blessing of having Jack in our lives is worth the grief.
Jack died on July 9, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina. Below is his obituary.
Go in peace, my dear friend and brother.
Jack Phillip Pierce, 79, died July 9, 2010. Mr. Pierce was born in Manchester, Ga., and was the son of the late Josie Cosby Pierce and Cabot Lull Pierce. His parents moved to the Chattahoochee Valley shortly after his birth and he was raised in Fairfax, Ala.
He graduated from Valley High School and then attended Jacksonville University, finishing his last three years at Auburn University. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Jackson, S.C., where in the evenings he attended classes at U.S.C. and Columbia Bible College. After his discharge from the Army he took a position with the Military Department of South Carolina as a federal technician. He retired after 34 years of service as Federal Purchasing and Contracting Officer with the military rank of Chief Warrant Officer W4. He was then offered the position and assumed the responsibility as Director of State Purchasing and Contracting for eight years. Mr. Pierce served under Adjutants General James C. Dozier, Frank Pinckney, Robert McCrady, T. Eston Marchant and Stan Spears.
He was a member of the National Guard Association of the United States and South Carolina, a member of Post 6 of the American Legion, board member of the Columbia Action Council and Chairman of May Fest, Autumn Fest and the Veterans Day Parade. He served over 36 years as vice chairman and board member of the South Carolina National Guard Federal Credit Union. He was a member of Northside Baptist Church.
Mr. Pierce is survived by many
cousins, his beloved dog, Willi, and longtime friend for over 50 years, Carson