WENDELL - Rudy Vallee Pearce Sr., 82, of Wendell went home to be with the Lord Sunday afternoon surrounded by family. He was born in Franklin County, son of the late Ivon "Buck" Pearce and Zelma Hagwood Pearce. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Kenneth Pearce, Dalton Pearce and Wayne Pearce.
He grew up in the Pearce's Community and graduated from Bunn High School in 1956. After high school he attended Louisburg College and later received his B.S. degree in Business and Criminal Justice. He was a prominent supporter of the Wendell Community and a longtime faithful member of Wendell Christian Church. From the time he was 6 years old, he dreamed of being a Police Officer. In March 1959, he joined the Raleigh Police Department, working in various positions before reaching rank of Lieutenant in the 60's, and then supervisor of the Police Records and the City-County Bureau of Identification. In 1976, he was appointed the Director of CCBI and moved it to Wake County Government, where he served as the longest running director of that agency. He was in this position until 1981 when he was forced to retire due to a medical disability. In 1983, he along with his best friend, Jerry Strickland, founded Strickland Funeral Home in Wendell and continued his education to become a Funeral Director. In 2001, they expanded to a second location in Louisburg. He was very proud of his second career and fulfilled their moto of "Pride and Dignity." In 2005, he transferred this facility in Louisburg to Tom Clancy.
He is survived by a special daughter, Monica P. Nowell and husband Johnny of Raleigh; a special son Rudy V. Pearce, Jr. and fiance' Sandra Kellum of Raleigh; two wonderful grandchildren, Rudy V. Pearce, III of Raleigh, Courtney Pearce of Jacksonville, FL, and a special grand-puppy, Diesel; brother, David Pearce and wife Barbara of Raleigh; and a good friend, the mother of his children, Edna R. Pearce of Raleigh.
He will lie in-state on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for viewing at Strickland Funeral Home & Crematory of Louisburg, 103 West Franklin Street, Louisburg, NC.
A graveside service and burial will be Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at Montlawn Memorial Park, Wilmington Street, Raleigh, NC.
Flowers will be accepted or contributions in his honor to Wendell Christian Church, 421 Mattox Street, P. O, Box 874, Wendell, NC 27591.
Arrangements are by Strickland Funeral Home & Crematory, Louisburg, www.stricklandfuneralhome.net.