[His services are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Road 72, Sarasota.]
The obituary notice was just 43 words long and tucked into a small corner of a Florida newspaper.
Above it, in a postage-stamp sized photo, an 80-year-old’s smiling face peers out from behind a pair of eyeglasses.
Edward K. Pearson passed away with no one to mourn him.
The military veteran died August 31, but his funeral isn’t until October 1.
The Naples man “has no immediate family,” the notice said, adding that “all are welcome to attend” his services in Sarasota.
His death may have gone all but unnoticed, and his interment Tuesday at Sarasota National Cemetery sparsely attended, but now hundreds of people have chimed in with emotional support and in some cases even vows to show up to honor the man’s life and service to the country.
The internet took notice after CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted about it. Suddenly, Pearson’s lonely death and funeral went viral across the nation.
Veteran Edward K. Pearson just passed away at age 80.
He has NO immediate family to come to his funeral, so the public is invited to attend.
Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m. at the Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Road 72
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 29, 2019
His services are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Road 72, Sarasota.
The Legacy notice was published in Naples Daily News on Sunday.
“I’ve certainly never seen anything like this,” Legacy Options funeral director Michael Hoyt told The Miami Herald. “It’s good to know people are coming to support this veteran who has served and probably don’t even know him.”
The Herald reported that “Pearson served in the U.S. Army from 1962-1964 and was honorably discharged. According to public records, he went on to become an engineer and worked for Marriott Hotel Services Inc.”
He’ll be interred with full military honors.
©2019 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.