Ferna Elizabeth Pearson, age 92, of Thompsonville, passed away at 5:23 a.m. Saturday, April 27, 2013, at her residence with her loving family by her side.
Ferna was born in Lake City, Wash., on June 29, 1920, the daughter of William J. and Vera Ora (Waldron) Taylor. She married Thomas Pearson in Tacoma, Wash., on August 2, 1942. Together, they shared 42 years of marriage. He preceded her in death on March 12, 1985, but is today reunited with him.
After moving to Illinois from Tacoma, Wash., in 1945, Ferna began attending the Heights Church of God in West Frankfort where she worshipped for 62 years. For the last several years, she attended Townmount Baptist Church in West Frankfort where her son-in-law is pastor. Music was a very important part of Ferna’s life and to always sing for the Lord was her heart’s desire. As well as being an accomplished soloist, she was a member of the church choir, the Heights Quartet, Heights Quintet, the Grannies’ Trio and the Four Generations singing groups. Ferna also taught a children’s Sunday School class, helped with youth group, and was a member of the Women of the Church of God organization.
After raising her five children, Ferna enjoyed her rural newspaper route for the Daily American, and while doing this, decided she would like to deliver the mail on a rural route instead. After successfully passing her Civil Service examination at age forty-nine, she was hired by the Postal Service, but not for a rural route. She became the first woman letter carrier in the area to walk the mail routes door to door. Her entire career was spent working within the city limits of Johnston City, until her retirement in 1985.
Survivors include two daughters, Donna and Carroll Toler of Thompsonville and Brenda and John Mayberry of Eldorado; son, Don and Billye Pearson of West Frankfort; daughter-in-law, Tedra Pearson of West Frankfort; 10 grandchildren, Larry Pearson, Katrina Pearson, Dane Henson, Krista (Caraway) Hartley, Davy Pearson, Devin Pearson, Jessica (Morris) Mehringer, Valerie (Morris) Ashby, Josh Pearson and Lyndsy Pearson; 15 great-grandchildren, Levi Pearson, Sarah Henson, Rachel Henson, Alicia Hartley, Logan Hartley, Derek Pearson, Cameron Pearson, Nicholas Pearson, Owen Pearson, Tysen Mehringer, Libby Mehringer, Shayna Ashby, Kaitlyn Ashby, Taylor Ashby and Kylee Pearson; brother, William E. Taylor of Federal Way, Wash.; several nieces and nephews; and great-nieces and great-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; two sons, Robert and David Pearson; granddaughter, Katrina Pearson; twin sister, Faye Lopez; two sisters, May Villalobos and Vera Winslow; and two brothers, Ellsworth and Ray Taylor.
Funeral services celebrating Ferna’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at the Townmount Baptist Church (at the west edge of West Frankfort on Highway 149) with Pastor Carroll Toler officiating. Burial will follow at Tower Heights Cemetery in West Frankfort, where she will be laid to rest next to her husband. Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, April 29, 2013, at Townmount Baptist Church in West Frankfort.
Page 2 of 2 - For those who prefer, memorial donations may be made to Townmount Baptist Church Building Fund or Hospice of Southern Illinois. Envelopes will be available and accepted at the church services or by mail c/o Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home, 201 S 13th Street, Herrin, Ill. 62948.
Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home in Herrin is assisting the family with final arrangements. For more information, or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit www.hughesfuneralhomes.com