Eight Bells: Clinton Pearson
Published on April 14th, 2020
Clinton J. Pearson, 91, of Bristol (RI), passed away at Newport Hospital on April 4, 2020. He was the husband of Carolyn (Broomhead) Pearson for 60 years and the son of the late Lillian and Carl Pearson.
Born in Pawtucket, RI, on March 6, 1929, he attended school in Pawtucket and graduated from Pawtucket High School in 1947. He attended and graduated from Brown University as part of the Navy ROTC. Clinton served in the U.S. Navy, as a midshipman aboard the USS Missouri and then with an officer’s commission aboard the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
His boatbuilding career began in 1956. He was the founder and chairman of both the Pearson Yacht Company and Bristol Yachts, which spawned the birth of the fiberglass boat industry in Southern New England, an industry that ultimately employed thousands of people and fundamentally changed the boating world.
Building more than 20,000 boats during his career, his designs are still enjoyed by their owners today.
In 1959 he married his lifelong love, Carolyn, and they made their home in Bristol. He was honored as the Chief Marshall of the Bristol Fourth of July Celebration in 1961.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, Lisa and Dr. Thomas Enright of Bristol (RI), Joshua Pearson and Kimberly Gastle of Toronto (CAN), Dana and Teresa Pearson of Providence (RI), and Martha and Kevin Handley of Bristol (RI); a sister, Marilyn Walton of Satellite Beach (FL); ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by a granddaughter.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Newport Hospital Foundation, 11 Friendship St., Newport, RI 02840 or to HopeHealth Hospice, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904.