Cover photo for Claude Vernon Pierce, Jr.'s Obituary
Claude Vernon Pierce, Jr. Profile Photo
1938 Claude 2024

Claude Vernon Pierce, Jr.

March 10, 1938 — March 20, 2024

Claude V. Pierce, Jr., age 86, passed away on Wednesday, March 20 th , 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 two years of age, the family relocated to
Johnson City, TN 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, AL as a Mercury Rocket Engineer participating in the
legendary 1960s space race. Later, Claude held various engineering positions including
Lockeed-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, WA 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 3:00PM with Pastor Larry Bird officiating.
Deal Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Claude Vernon Pierce, Jr., please visit our flower store.

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