Tuesday, March 25, 2003


Dr. Pierce started companies, ministries

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

John F. Pierce, a scholar, entrepreneur and philanthropist who helped found the Evangelical Community Church in Clifton, died March 11 of leukemia at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.

The former Wyoming resident, who also served for years on the Character Council of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, was 68.

A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Dr. Pierce held a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a Ph.D. from M.I.T. as well as an M.A. from Harvard College.

He moved to Greater Cincinnati in 1969 and founded Management Decisions Development Corp., a computer software company. He later sold that and started a second company called CARS that developed software used by many colleges.

In 1972, Dr. Pierce helped start College and Careers, a singles ministry at College Hill Presbyterian Church that boasted a membership of hundreds of young people, said his wife, Lois. He also served as an elder at the Evangelical Community Church, as a deacon at Park Street Church in Boston and was a trustee of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Mass., for 30 years.

He also worked as a mathematical scientist for IBM for 10 years and was a professor at M.I.T. for three years.

At the time of his death, Dr. Pierce was developing a discipleship program.

He was an Eagle Scout and a member of Tau Beta Phi and Sigma Xi. In 1963, he received the Ford Foundation Award for producing one of the year's top five doctoral dissertations in the country.

Dr. Pierce served in the Army Reserves for eight years beginning in 1957.

He and his wife retired to Naples, Fla. four years ago.

In addition to Lois Ericson Pierce, his wife of 45 years, survivors include: two sisters, Anne Wood of Fort Pierce, Fla. and Ruth Abrahamsen of Ashland, Va.

A memorial is 11 a.m. Saturday at the College Hill Presbyterian Church, 5742 Hamilton Ave. The family will greet callers between 9 and 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the church.

Dr. Pierce's remains were cremated.

Memorials: James Cancer Hospital, Bone Marrow Transplant Family Fund, 300 W. 10th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210; or Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Pierce Discipleship Center, 130 Essex St., South Hamilton, MA 01982.

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com

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