After serving three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II, the G.I. Bill presented Pearsall with a path toward a college education, one that would take him beyond his two years at General Motors Institute. Honorably discharged from military service as a Lieutenant (j.g.), with acceptance letter in hand for the airport management program at Purdue University, he headed for Indiana with Marge by his side.
In a twist of fate, Pearsall was disappointed to learn upon his arrival that the registrar's office had signed him up for the aeronautical engineering program (they thought his two years at the General Motors Institute before the war made him a great candidate). Frustrated, he attempted to take a different direction with his career path; he headed to Kansas to re-enlist in the Navy as a regular Navy officer. He was denied because of a failed physical. Unable to find another airport management program or rejoin the Navy, Duane realized the job market for aviation didn't exist and “the Navy had made a decision for us and this was a fateful outcome.”
The couple headed to Denver. Marjorie, a graduate of the University of lowa's School of Journalism, began working for the DU Chancellor's office. They reviewed brochures they received and came across one from the College of Business Administration at the University of Denver. Duane enrolled at the University of Denver Daniels Business School under the GI Bill and earned a BSBA in general business and a BS in engineering. That was the start of his astounding business career in Denver and it was the place where the couple would put down roots and start a family. The pinnacle of Pearsall's education came in 1996 when Worcester Polytechnic Institute dressed him in academic regalia and awarded him an honorary Doctorate in Science (PhD).
G.I. Bill: Also known as the Servicemen's Readjustment Act (1944). It was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944, this act provided eligible veterans a means to cover the costs associated with getting an education or training after their discharge from active duty.