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Obituary - Claude Vernon Pierce Jr.
Deal Funeral Directors and Stevens Mortuary
Claude Vernon Pierce Jr.

Claude V. Pierce Jr., age 86, passed away on Wednesday, March 20th, 2024, under the care of Hospice of South Georgia after an extended illness.

Claude was born in Benham, Kentucky, to Mattie Pippin Pierce and Claude V. Pierce Sr. At 2 years of age, the family relocated to Johnson City, Tenn., where he received his early education.

He grew up in the beautiful East Tennessee mountains, graduating from Science Hill High School in 1956.

Claude went on to attend and graduate from the University of Kentucky in 1962 with degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering.

As a freshman, he was a violinist with the UK Symphony Orchestra.

Upon graduation, Claude joined the NASA space program at Red Stone Arsenal Space Center, Huntsville, Ala., as a Mercury Rocket engineer, participating in the legendary 1960s space race.

Later, Claude held various engineering positions, including Lockheed-Martin in Marietta, Ga., where he performed tests on the C-5 Galaxy; Rand Instrument Corporation in Atlanta, Ga., where he developed the largest mobile telescope of that time; Cooper-Wiss in Statesboro, Ga., as mechanical engineering manager; and Stowe-Woodward in Kelso, Wash., as plant manager.

Claude enjoyed cars, music, reading, gardening and woodworking.

Claude is survived by his wife, Tonya Hunter Pierce, Brooklet, Ga.; his daughter and son-in-law, Dr. Bess Pierce and Dr. Paul Schmidt, Columbia, Mo.; and his son, Claude V. Pierce III, Henderson, Ky.

A graveside service will be held at Eastside Cemetery, Statesboro, GA, on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Larry Bird officiating.

Deal Funeral Directors, Statesboro, GA, is in charge of arrangements.

Statesboro Herald, April 3, 2024

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