July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Huntley G. Pierce, Founder, Pierce’s Sporting Goods

Huntley Gilbert Pierce was born to Frank and Mabel (Miller) Pierce on December 8, 1915, on a small farm between Huntley and Gilberts, Illinois. He married the love of his life, Beatrice “Bea” (Hersman), on January 8, 1947. Bea passed away on December 12, 2001. He is happy to be reunited with Bea and all his family and friends, with God in Heaven on March 23, 2013.

Huntley loved Wooster! He discovered Wooster when researching restaurant locations for Isaly’s Dairy Corporation, as a District Manager in the 1930’s and 1940’s (where he also had the privilege of making the first Klondike bar!). He left Isaly’s and purchased Keeney’s Cafeteria in Wooster, in 1949.

Huntley then opened up his “dream” in 1952; Pierce’s Sporting Goods and Athletic Supplies, on Liberty Street in Wooster. Pierce’s was a family business with Bea as Office Administrator and daughter, Janet helping on the retail floor and in the office. Huntley loved being able to work with coaches and schools, supplying them with all their uniforms and equipment. Coaches loved that Huntley would always make sure they got exactly what they needed promptly, at a fair price. He took great joy during his long days in helping customers find just the right fishing lure, the perfect fit of tennis shoes, the right grip on a golf club, or even the perfect board game for a family evening.

Huntley loved sports! At Poland High School in Poland, Ohio, where he graduated in 1933, he was a championship basketball center, a wrestler, a football player, a track star, and was on the tennis team, all while taking care of the dairy farm where his family lived. But Huntley’s favorite passion became golf and fishing after he opened Pierce’s. Huntley still holds the record in Maryland, for the number of blue fish caught in one outing during a fishing trip in Ocean City, Maryland.

Huntley loved his community. He helped form the Wooster Downtown Merchants Association, was a member of the Wooster Chamber of Commerce, was a Charter Member of the Downtown Rebounders, was a 78 year member of Kiwanis and inducted into its Legion of Honor, was a 57 year member of the Wooster Shriner’s Masonic Ebenezer Lodge No. 0033, was a member of the Wooster Country Club, was a member of Ohio State Council of Retail Merchants and the National Sporting Goods Association of Chicago, was on the Board of Advisors for the Winchester Firearms Co., and served on the business advisory council for Outdoor Life Magazine.

Huntley loved his family! Bea, Huntley and daughter, Janet Pierce of Bay Village, loved traveling together, visiting historic places, watching theater and concerts, playing golf together, going to sports events, and many other activities. Huntley enjoyed many holidays and special occasions with his son, Jack (Carol) Pierce of Sandusky; granddaughters, Leigh (Mark) Delbecq of Columbus, and Julie (Keith) Kobasher of Sandusky; and his three great grandchildren.

In his retired years, he enjoyed his other dream of a home in Florida at Cross Creek in Ft. Myers, and was a seasonal resident there for more than 20 years. He celebrated his 97th birthday this past December 8th with 40 family members and friends with a large golf themed cake that included a working mini golf cart!

Services will be held this Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 12 Noon at Zion Lutheran Church, 301 N. Market St., Wooster. Calling hours precede the services at 10 A.M. at the church. Burial will take place immediately afterward at Wooster Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the “Wayne County Community Foundation” for the “Huntley and Bea Pierce Sports Scholarship Fund”, 517 N. Market St., Wooster, OH 44691.