Richard (Dick) Pershing was a thoughtful, generous, and formidable man. Above all, he loved his family dearly. He was born and raised in Los Angeles. His family had moved to California from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1925. His father, Howard, was a department store salesman. His mother, Edith, was a homemaker. His older sister Betty was a scholar, earning a master’s degree in 1945. Dick was in 9th grade when Pearl Harbor was bombed and the U.S. declared war on Japan in 1941. At 18, he enlisted in the Navy and served in the South Pacific from 1945-46.
After the service, he attended Pepperdine University where he was a music major and sang in various choirs and quartets, and solo, in his sonorous baritone. At Pepperdine he was swept off his feet by a beautiful coed named Norma Davis, and they were married on August 19, 1950 after graduation.
Dick worked for a short time as a church choir director, but was eventually steered towards banking, where he advanced quickly to vice president at Security Pacific National Bank. In 1962, he became senior vice president by Home Savings and Loan, California’s largest savings and loan at that time. Daughter Tina was born in 1955 and son Timothy (Tim) was born in 1957.
In 1964 Dick accepted a position with Hale Bros. Associates—a diversified investment company—in San Francisco, and so the family moved north to the Bay Area, building a home in Burlingame on a hill overlooking the San Francisco Airport. He left Hale for 16 months to work as the number two man at International Controls Corp., based in New Jersey, but returned in 1970 when offered the position of president and CEO of Hale Technology Corporation. In 1985 he became chairman of the board of Datron Systems—formerly a division of Hale Systems Inc. In 1982 he was awarded Alumnus of the Year by Pepperdine University.
In 1989 Dick and Norma sold their home in Burlingame to move to Palm Desert, where they could play tennis year-round. They built a gracious home with a swimming pool in Indian Wells and loved attending the annual Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament. Their family and friends enjoyed visiting them there.
Dick loved to read books about American military history and was a Titanic fanatic long before the movie release. He and Norma loved to travel and saw a good deal of the U.S., Caribbean, Canada, Europe, Australia, and the South Pacific. Their favorite vacation destination was the Island of Hawaii, where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with the whole family.
In December 2018 they moved to Gilroy, California, to be closer to Tina and Tim. Norma had Parkinson’s and passed away in August 2019. Dick missed her terribly, but read his Bible every day, and looked forward to the time when they could be together again.
Richard Pershing is survived by his son Timothy Pershing and daughter-in-law Jane Pershing, his daughter Tina Pershing Baine, his son-in-law Wallace Baine (of Lookout Santa Cruz), and his granddaughters Quinlyn Baine and Casey Baine.