Pierson began his manufacturing career in 1958, when he returned to the Kansas City area to work at the Vendo Company, which was owned by Pierson’s family and was the world’s largest vending manufacturer at the time. He served as Vendo’s President and CEO from 1971-75. In 1976, Pierson acquired Preco, Inc., building it from a small tool and die maker to a high-tech manufacturer of laser and automation technology.
Pierson was born on October 13, 1931, in Kansas City, Mo. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1953, and then served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He earned his MBA from Harvard University in 1958 after completing his military service.
Pierson was an avid golfer and duck hunter and a member of Village Presbyterian Church. He is survived by his wife, Susan, daughters Merrill Nunnaly (Robert), Kimberly Coleman (Donald), and Karen Pierson and three grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City) General Fund, the Village Church Endowment Fund at the Village Presbyterian Church, or the National World War I Museum and Memorial.