May 6,1935- August 1, 2020
Kay was born in Buffalo, Wyoming, the oldest of ten children. She was married to Tom Pearson for 54 years. She is survived by children Sherry Henrickson, Morris Pearson, and Gail Voels, seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, and three brothers.
From the time she was four, Kay was eager to go to school, so it was no surprise that teaching became her profession. She started teaching in a one-room school in South Dakota, and ended her career almost forty years later at a one-room school in Whale Pass, Alaska. During the years between, she taught in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, with the majority of her teaching career spent in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Kay was a master teacher. Famous for her outdoor education and science classes, she contributed to the K-6 Sea Week curriculum still used throughout Alaska. Her students weren’t confined to learning from books and worksheets in the classroom! She taught them to raise, save, and manage money so they could travel… to a whole week of outdoor camp, to Juneau to visit the legislature, or to Seattle to study northwest history. She definitely believed in hands on, site-based learning! Not surprisingly, Kay was selected as Ketchikan Education Association’s first ever Teacher of the Year in 1973.
After retiring from teaching, Kay traveled as much as possible. She trekked to Peru, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, China, Japan, England, Scotland, Wales, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and the maritime provinces of Canada. One of her favorite travel experiences was going twice to Nome, Alaska, to work at the Iditarod sled dog race.
Kay was an avid reader and supporter of libraries. She was a quilter, fiber artist, and founding member of Fyber Café, a modern fiber arts group in Roseburg, OR. She spent many years involved in Roseburg’s Garden Club, creating flower arrangements and judging flower shows.
Due to Covid 19 precautions, there will be no public service.
Flowers planted in her name at a local library would be a fitting tribute; or, if you’d like to make a memorial contribution in her name, her family suggests The Sutherlin Food Pantry, where she and Tom volunteered (Sutherlin Food Pantry, PO Box 94, Sutherlin, OR 97479) or Parkinson’s Foundation: https://www.parkinson.org.