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In Memory

Allan Pearl

Allan R. Pearl died February 10, 1978, a week before his 31st birthday, from complications of Hodgkin's disease. When he was a student, the hometown listed for Allan — as well as for Gary Pearl '71 (presumably his brother) — was Great Neck, New York. Gary later became a pathologist in Longwood, Florida.


I can't find much information about Allan from the time he left Oberlin and died in Santa Clara, California. Strangely, I did see a photograph of his grave in Orlando, Florida. Hopefully, another of our classmates will have more information.

Both Allan and our classmate Steven Brody were diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease while we were at Oberlin. Those were early days for the staging of Hodgkin's disease, but I recall that Allan's prognosis wasn't as good as Steve's.

Though he was a history major, we shared several classes and became good friends. I recall his wit, optimism, and goodwill. He gave my first wife and me the one wedding gift I have ever received that remains in use. It was a set of Oneida stainless steel flatware. I'm stirring my coffee with a teaspoon form it right now.  (Submitted by Terry Sweetser)


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02/18/19 04:25 PM #1    

David Kurkowski

I lived next to Allan on the 3rd floor of Barrows Hall.  As I recall, he had a single room.  Though we came from very different backgrounds, we became great friends and engaged in lots of bull sessions.  He was the first person I ever knew who studied Chinese, which I believe was a new offering our freshman year.  I studied German and privately wondered why anyone would want to study Chinese.  Now I wonder why I studied German!  Those were the days when smoking was permitted and Allan loved to smoke a pipe.  We all knew when Allan was on the floor.  He was pround of his Jewish background and frequently spoke in Hebrew.  I really liked Allan.  I was shocked years ago when I learned that he had died so young.  

02/19/19 02:42 PM #2    

Whitney Rimel

Allen was a good friend at Oberlin. I regret not keeping up after college. I spent one Thanksgiving Holiday at Allen’ parents’ house in Great Neck. When we arrived following  a long drive at around 1am Allen’s mother greeted us with a warm welcome and insisted we were hungry and needed pie. I will never forget Allen.  He was so special. I never knew that he was diagnosed while in college.  What a brave guy—


04/01/19 04:48 PM #3    

David Gottlieb

Allan was a good friend, in college and after.  I remember him as really smart, really funny, and at least occasionally ascerbic.  He had an amazing breadth of knowledge and an interest in just about everyting.  Allan seemed to me to be a man of the world; he introduced me to McSorley's ale house, Clark Terry, and Balkan Sobranie.  He was an unapologetic conservative in a place where his views were very much in the minority, yet he never gave me the impression that he felt out of place at the school. 

Allan spent some time at Waseda University in Japan after graduation, and then went on to law school at Harvard and a big firm job in New York.  After he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, he moved to San Francisco, to a job that would give him the ability to have a life outside of work for the limited time he knew he had left. 

Allan and I reconnected when he came back to the US; we vacationed a couple of times together, and I got to know his family.  Allan was the godfather for our first kid, and he really loved him.  My lasting memory of Allan is him standing over Daniel's crib and whispering sweet nothings to him about how he should ignore his do-gooder parents and go on to a career in the world of finance.   I think about him often, and I miss him a lot.  







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