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Rodney B. Pierson, 86, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at San Simeon on the Sound on October 1, 2023. Born on July 20, 1937, to Floyd Rodney and Mary Alice (Barker) Pierson, in Southampton, New York, Rod was a Southampton community fixture.
After graduating from Southampton High School in 1955, he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served in Morocco, Kansas, and New Hampshire. Upon being honorably discharged, he returned to Southampton and was employed as a milkman by Gilmartin’s (later Schwenk’s) Dairy, happily delivering dairy products directly to customers’ homes. He followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Southampton Village Volunteer Fire Department’s Engine Company No. 1 in 1960.
While enjoying an evening at The Anchorage, a local Southampton bar, a young Southampton Hospital nursing student caught his eye. His good friend Jake Buchheit acted as wing man and his 59-year long love story with Joanne Dugan began and he married his beloved bride in 1961.
In 1962, Rod partnered with Guy Squires to form Squires & Pierson and for the next 42 years he cared for the community members’ waste and sanitation needs before turning over the reins to his son.
During his 50 years of service as a volunteer fireman, he responded to countless calls and worked his way through the ranks of the department. He served as the Engine Company’s 2nd Lieutenant from 1972-1974, 1st Lieutenant from 1974-1976, and Captain from 1976-1978. He was elected to serve as the Department’s 2nd Assistant Chief from 1980-1982, 1st Assistant Chief from 1982-1985, and Chief from 1985-1987.
One of the proudest moments of his life was receiving his 50th Year of Service Award from the Department, not only because it marked a milestone in a firefighter’s volunteer career, but because it was presented to him by the then Chief of the Department, his only son.
Rod was also extremely proud that all of his four children obtained a post-secondary education and that his family tradition of fire service had been continued with two more generations.
When he wasn’t working on a pump truck or at the firehouse, Rod enjoyed waterfowl hunting, cheering for the Yankees and Giants, and enjoying a good meal with a cocktail surrounded by his family.
Rod was preceded in death by his loving parents and wife. He is survived by his dear sister, Emmy (Pierson) Alford, of East Middlebury, VT; his daughters Susan (Pierson) Rozzi and her husband, Michael of South Bend, IN; Kristin (Pierson) Maggi and her husband, Raymond of Blue Point, NY; , and McKenna Pierson of East Quogue, NY; his son Rodney “Chip” Pierson and his wife, Amy, of Southampton, NY; and his beloved grandchildren Olivia Rozzi, Liam Rozzi, Sarah Pierson, Shelby Pierson, Caroline Maggi, and Colin Maggi.