"He did not know me when he served his country, and I don't know him when I bury him, but we are one. He's my family," Cathy Strammer, who attended the funeral, told WFTS.
Veteran Ed Lyons, assistant director at the cemetery, told the news station that Pearson should be honored for his service to the nation.
“It’s what these veterans deserve; it’s what this veteran deserves,” Lyons said.
Pearson was originally from Pennsylvania and moved to Florida about 25 years ago, according to the AP. He worked at several local stores over the years and made friends in the community.