Skip to main content

The Road to Denver

Pearsall Poses Hand on Hand

Duane D. Pearsall

Duane Pearsall (1922 - 2010), also nicknamed Dewey, was a recipient of several lifetime awards for his achievements in small business, fire protection and venture capitalism. He is best known for his development of the first battery operated ionization smoke detector used in residential homes. The most significant award was for the National Small Business Person of the Year in 1976; The award that meant a great deal to him was the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SPFE) Fire Protection Man of the Year in 1980, and in May 1996, Worcester Polytechnic Institute awarded him an honorary PhD in science.

The Road to Denver begins with Duane's early life with his family in Keego Harbor, Michigan and it leaves off at the start of his life with Marge. It contains biographical information, interesting tidbits from his youth, stories about his siblings and parents in Michigan, becoming a civil aeronautics pilot, and his WWII military service in the U.S. Navy.