John Franklin Pierce

John Franklin Pierce, 66, passed away on October 30, 2022 with loved ones at his side, following a courageous battle with cancer. John was born in New Rochelle, New York on August 15, 1956 to Harrison and Virginia Pierce. The youngest of 5 children, John attended Holy Family School in New Rochelle, then Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx (’74). To further his Jesuit education, John earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (’78). At Marquette, he met Joan Cotter of Wilmette, Illinois. After Joan’s graduation in 1979, they married and moved to Bronxville, New York, settled temporarily, then moved to New Rochelle, New York to raise their three children, Megan, Erin and John, Jr. Together, John and Joan built a home on Maywood Road in Larchmont Woods. As the patriarch, John helped raise his family and took care of his ailing wife Joan, until her death from Multiple Sclerosis in 2003. 

After college, John worked for his father’s seafood company, Harrison Pierce & Co., in New York City and later, in Stamford, Connecticut. While working with his father, he learned to be a prominent businessman in the lobster tail and shrimp industry. He turned his talents toward his own business, Pierce Seafood Inc., which he founded with his brother-in-law in 1991 in Pelham, New York. A friend and colleague was quoted, “John was well-respected with the highest integrity. Everyone knows what a good man he was. He had an incredible reputation, and he created a professional legacy for himself.”

Despite his professional successes, his work did not entirely define him. He had many joys in life. He was a member of the Larchmont Shore Club and was often found sporting a sun-tan, a popped collar and cool sunglasses. John was known for his culinary abilities. He enjoyed hosting and cooking for large and small gatherings of family and friends (as long as they left by 9). He loved music and rocking out with his always perfectly-tuned air guitar. John’s passion for golf grew over time. John had a close group of friends, commonly referred to as “the boys”, which shared the same love for golf. He and “the boys” went on several golf trips both domestically and internationally, including St. Andrew’s in Scotland. John and the boys were avid baseball fans. They attended several New York Yankees games and traveled to Tampa, Florida annually for Yankees Spring Training. They coined John’s nickname, “The Prez”. 

In January of 2006, John would meet his bride-to-be, Mary Beth McCarthy McErlean, a 9/11 widow with four children. They quickly bonded as friends, golf partners, and travel companions. John and Beth married on August 1, 2008 at the Larchmont Yacht Club, where Beth was a long-time member. Their large, immediate family was affectionately and collectively known as “the McPierce’s.” 

John and Beth joined Wykagyl Country Club to perfect their golf game Most recently, John and Beth became members at the Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck. 

John is survived by his wife, Mary Beth McCarthy McErlean Pierce, his daughters Megan Pierce Collins (Brendan) and Erin Pierce Lau (Greg), and son, John Franklin Pierce, Jr.; Step-children, Ryan McErlean, Timothy McErlean, Mary Kate McErlean and Allison McErlean Gerstenfeld (Bryan.) In addition, he leaves behind MaryJo McCarthy Mitchell, his wonderful mother-in-law and his adoring grandchildren Molly, Liam and Rory Collins and Owen, Teddy and Amelia Lau. Also surviving him are his dear siblings, Harrison J. Pierce (Margaret), Allys Pierce Macken (John) and Jacinta Pierce McCarthy (David) and brother-in-law James Nolan. He was pre-deceased by his parents Harrison J. Pierce, Virginia Dwyer Pierce and sister Marina Pierce Nolan. 

Beth’s timeless care-taking, advocacy and unwavering support helped John through countless doctor visits, post-surgical wound care and the utmost of sick and challenging times. The Pierce family is eternally grateful for Beth and the entire McCarthy/Mitchell/McErlean crew. 

John’s wake will be held at John J. Fox Funeral Home in Larchmont, New York on Thursday, November 3, 2022 from 4-8 pm. The Funeral mass will be held at St. Augustine’s Church in Larchmont, New York on Friday, November 4, 2022 at 11 am., where he and Beth are devoted parishioners.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to Swim Across America/Team Prez at  http://www.swimacrossamerica.org/goto/JohnPierce

The Pierce Family thanks you in advance for your continued support.