John Ward Pierson

July 12, 1939 - April 21, 2021
John Ward Pierson


John Ward Pierson passed away on April 21, 2021 at the age of 81 in Wilmington, NC. He was surrounded by loved ones who will honor his legacy by living their best lives per John’s example.

John was born in St Louis and grew up in Chicago’s West side, he graduated from The University of Illinois and then proudly served six years in the US Marine Corps completing a tour in Vietnam and culminating in the rank of Captain. He settled in Wilmington in 1967 where he was well known and respected in the real estate field for over 51 years. As sales manager for Bryant Real Estate for 21 of those years, John also served on the Board of Realtors, was president of Realtors Helping Realtors, and was the founding member and president of the Wilmington Realtors Foundation for 20 years. He achieved both Salesman of the Year and Realtor of the Year awards. In 2017 the Wilmington Realtors Foundation created the John Pierson Humanitarian Award which he was the first recipient. John was also active with Meals on Wheels and other philanthropic organizations.

Involved in so many facets of the community, John’s house was an open door to friendship and love to many throughout the years. His dedication to living in the moment and spreading laughter freely is well known to all that knew him.

He is preceded in death by his wife Mary. John is survived by his wife Bonnie Kotyuk, her children Nathaniel Kotyuk and wife Melissa and grandson Noah, Matthew Kotyuk and wife Jessica; son Chris Pierson and his wife Amy and grandchildren Peyton and Ryan, and daughter Tracy Pierson and husband Kent Alphin.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the New Hanover Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Unit and the Jimmy V Foundation.

To Honor Johns’ wishes, there will be a private memorial service.

Share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099


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  • April 23, 2021
    Patrick says:
    I did not know John personally but I do know that he did an incredible job raising a great son. And ultimately that is the best legacy any of us can hope to leave behind.

  • April 23, 2021
    Joanne Munsell Bryant says:
    Hey guy.... we’ve known each other since 1977, when we both were mere kids!! You were like my second husband (you looked, and were much sweeter, than Bob)!!! I respected and appreciated that you never took sides. You loved us both! Your humor, integrity, and sweet soul will always be close to my heart. God’s speed.... he got a good one with you!!! ❤️

  • April 24, 2021
    Edward Alexander says:
    John always had an inner joy that he radiated always....Cape Fear Realtors has loved a dedicated soul....God continue to bless you my man....

  • April 24, 2021
    Bill & Beth Frey lit a candle:
    Lit since April 24, 2021 at 4:02:28 PM

  • April 24, 2021
    Robert (Bob) Bryant says:
    To a long time friend (42 years) and Co-worker (21 years). You and I don’t morn Dearh, we celebrate their lives. I have been so lucky and fortunate to have shared our friendship, companionship, loyalty and trust all these years! You will truly be missed by your family and friends, but you leave behind a great legacy, with Chris and Tracey and all of your friends and even brief Acquaintances. Everyone knew what was on your mind (sometimes without filters) but you also had the ability to listen and evaluate. I think you have been on the Board of Realtors longer than any member, which is a testimony in itself to your dedication to your profession. You will be missed my friend, and I will swear God took you first to avoid the troubling future, and you didn’t have to write something about me. Love you man and God Bless you and your family...