Celebrating the life of
Anne K. Pearsall
July 27, 1928 - January 09, 2021
Anne will be deeply missed, and always remembered for the love and guidance she provided throughout her life.
Anne K. Pearsall died of COVID complications on January 9, 2021
What our Mom was most proud of, after her faith and family, was being a first-generation Italian American. Her parents immigrated to this country in the early part of the 20th Century, and while never going back for a visit, they instilled a deep love of all things Italian in their seven children, of which our Mom was number six. Mom’s first language was Italian, and even after learning English, always spoke with an accent that was difficult to identify – definitely American but with a hint of something else that was the Italian difference.
Our Mom was blessed with a great love of her life, our Dad, her Tommy. Their marriage lasted nearly 69 years until his death in June, 2015. Our mom was fond of telling her “meet cute” with our Dad. After serving in the Pacific, he returned to complete his senior year of high school where he was smitten by our mom. He got up the nerve to introduce himself to this spirited basketball cheerleader when, after she had fallen on her behind from a cheer, he walked up to her after the game to inquire how she was faring. She was 17, and they married a couple of months after she turned 18 in September 1946. Mom was fond of telling the story that the night before she married our Dad, the son of the baker called one last time to plead his case that she should marry him instead and he could care for her by working in his Dad’s business…but she told him that she wanted a bigger life and this man would give it to her. And with her support, he did.
Our Mom was the very definition of partner to her husband. Mom created and maintained their home as they moved to Hamilton, New York so Dad could earn his B.A. degree on the G.I. Bill at Colgate University (from where their oldest grandchild would graduate sixty years later). Shortly after his college graduation, they made the decision for dad to join the Air Force where upon they embarked on the nomadic life of a young military couple. In particular during his first six years of service, Dad was a navigator in the Strategic Air Command and Mom managed a move about every six months. When it was time to begin a family, she put down her foot to assert that she wanted a better than 50-50 chance that he would come home safe every day (lots of experimental planes and dangerous missions were run) so he shifted focus and began the path that led them in 1959 to the newly opened U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. In beginning this new chapter as a professor’s wife, she made our home the center of entertainment for the faculty and cadets hosting numerous New Year’s Eve parties and boisterous July 4th celebrations.
The birth of their children mirrored Dad’s academic path: Mark was born in Roswell, New Mexico in 1954 where the initial decision to shift out of Strategic Air Command was made; Susan was born in Austin, Texas in 1955 while he earned his Master’s Degree; and finally, Morgan and David were born in 1958 and 1959, respectively, while he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Denver. Dad was finishing his oral exam for his thesis when he got news of David’s birth and rushed out of the room to see how mother and child were doing. Through all those degrees, our Mom typed EVERY ONE of his papers, and during that time, she joked that if she died prematurely, they should check for poison since that is what our Dad’s master thesis included: the use of poison in Shakespearean tragedies! And the family lore included that when our Dad would finish a book for one of his classes, he would hand it over to Mom so she could read it too.
While a traditional “stay at home” mom, she was an active volunteer in charities too numerous to name with a special emphasis on volunteering at hospitals. And until she grew much older, she was always an active parishioner in the Catholic Church she belonged to. She supported our Dad in his very successful career as a tenured Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota (where he joined in 1969 after he retired from the Air Force with over 20 years of service) where he earned the designation of Professor Emeritus as well as being appointed the Head of the Department for a number of years. He was the author of several seminal college textbooks in the area of Technical Writing as well as becoming a Fellow of the Society of Technical Communication.
In 1989, our Dad and Mom retired once again and moved to the Landings in Skidaway Island, Georgia. There they made many great and loving friendships that sustained them for the years since then. Mom, an excellent athlete who taught her children how to ski and throw a football, loved to play golf and she was a master player of bridge. Both activities played a huge role in their social lives in Savannah and the bridge, for my Mom, continued until COVID did not allow those gatherings to happen anymore. A health crisis for our Dad triggered a move in 2008 to the Marshes of Skidaway Island.
We want to thank the healthcare staff of St. Joseph’s Hospital for her excellent care during the last days of her life. COVID has taken too many of our parents before their rightful times, but the comfort and treatments received from the staffs at hospitals like St. Joseph’s have made our parents’ last days easier to experience.
And the deepest gratitude to the Marshes of Skidaway Island for making the last years of our parents so wonderful! The staff from the caretakers to the Concierge to the Food and Beverage to Transportation to Housekeeping and the Executive Staff have been beyond our highest expectations. We cannot imagine a better place that they could have lived in their remaining years.
Anne Pearsall is survived by her two sons, Morgan and his wife, Laurie, who live in Oak Brook, Illinois; David, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and her daughter, Susan Pearsall, who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. A third son, Mark, predeceased her in 2005. There are also seven striving and thriving grandchildren: Brittany, Madison, Zachary, Samantha, Deirdre, Braden and Sydney who gave her such joy throughout her life.
She will be deeply missed, and always remembered for the love and guidance she provided throughout her life.
There will be no memorial service. If anyone wants to make a donation in her honor, we suggest it be given to a local Food Bank or any other organization helping people survive this dreaded virus.
Praying for your sweet mother and her peace.
- paige mitchell, richmond hill, ga
What a beautiful tribute! We met Morgan and Laurie through mutual friends a few years ago and are still getting to know them. This taught us so much about the family that shaped Morgan. We send our condolences and admiration to all of you at this difficult time and will honor your mother’s memory with a food bank donation.
- Elizabeth & Sam, Chicago, IL
I sat with your mom Dec28th for 4 hours.. She is such a sweetheart.. In the little time I had with her she spoke highly of her children and grandkids....I was looking forward to sitting with her again... My condolences goes out to her family.
- JaneenNewton , Savannah , Georgia
My prayers are with the family at this difficult time, you have my deepest condolences Mrs Pearsall was a beautiful person inside and out she was wonderful l look forward coming to work just to see her beautiful smile she will truly be miss.
- Jerusalema Haqq Bryant, Savannah , Ga
Susan, David and Morgan, I am deeply saddened hearing of the loss of your mom, and a second mom to all of us Briand children at the USAFA, such fond warm loving memories of our families together, sending my most heartfelt sympathy and love to you all, Kate
- Kate Briand, Intervale, NH
What a troupe of boisterous, fun-loving individuals at the Academy: The Pearsalls, the Weavers, and the Briands. Great memories, those. Anne's laughter was big and infectious. This is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman.
- Paul L Briand, Durham, NH
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear mom. I was young when we left the Academy but I still have fond memories of both of your parents and all of the times our families spent together. My parents truly loved your parents and although my mom had not seen Anne for awhile she spoke very fondly of her. She is crushed to hear she has passed. She commented that she had not heard from Anne at Christmas and she wondered why. I am so sorry to hear she was battling COVID and ultimately lost that battle. I send my deepest sympathy to all of you.
- Margaret Briand Wolfe, West Newton, MA
We will always remember Anne during the Christmas season. Her sense of humor and wit helped to make our holiday with her and Tom memorable and joyful. A lovely lady. She will be missed by many.
- Gina Pagan, Oviedo, FL
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- No Funeral Service