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Waco community remembers Robert Pearson as more than just a shoe shiner

Robert Pearson
Posted at 4:18 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 19:13:44-04

WACO, TX — Robert Pearson was well known in the community for his shoe-shining business. But he was known for also being a good man with a great attitude, he always had a smile on his face and loved talking to new people.

Pearson passed away at his apartment Monday after being declared dead only to find out he was alive and rushed to the hospital where he later passed and declared dead for a second time.

With the community in mourning, some look back on the memories they made while Pearson was still here.

Sam Brown, a close friend to Pearson, gave him space for his shoe shining business at Extraco Banks after leaving his place at the Waco Regional Airport of 14 years.

"Something was special about Robert that just touched people. It made people want to help him it made people want to know him," Brown said.

Initially Brown said that a few days had passed when a few friends realized no one had heard from him. When apartment staff went to check on him Waco PD was called as he was unresponsive in his apartment at Whispering Oaks.

"He was declared dead and then we got word a couple hours later that technically that may not be the case," Brown said.

After being declared dead Waco Mortuary showed up to find Pearson still alive and he was rushed to the hospital.

Neighbor and good friend, Hank Pendelton said it was heartbreaking to hear the news of Pearson's passing.

"He going to really truly be missed because he was a nice man," Pendelton said.

They bonded over Pendelton's BBQ. When he would BBQ outside Pearson's front door, he would always share a plate with his friend.

"I always did try and help older people and I always did try and give him something to eat and he always thanked me," Pendelton said.

He says it's sad to know that Pearson was declared dead twice and wonders what could have happened if officials realized he was alive sooner.

"I don't think that was right," Pendelton said.

However, Brown says although he was only 76, he had many health issues and believes everything was done correctly on everyone's part.

"I think everyone did their best and in this case, it was one of those fluke things that everything really just said he had already passed away," Brown said.

Knowing a good soul has left this earth, Brown will cherish the memories he has with Pearson.

"I just know that I'm a better person because I met Robert Pearson," Brown said.

To help with funeral expenses of Mr. Pearson an account has been made at The First National Bank of Central Texas. To make a donation you can can visit any branch in Central Texas and make a donation in person.