March 15, 1921 - December 11, 2020
The Celebration of Life memorial service for Ethelyn Pearson, of Clarissa and formerly of Wadena, will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 19, at the Johnson-Schuller Chapel in Wadena. A gathering of family and friends will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will continue until the time of the service. Ethelyn A. Pearson, age 99 years 9 months, passed away from Covid-19 at the Clarissa Nursing home on December 11, 2020. Ethelyn was born March 15, 1921 in Hewitt, Minnesota to Russell and Alice (Gossell) Linnell. She lived all her school age years in the Hewitt, Minnesota area. She had one sibling; Billie Scott of Moscow, Idaho. In 5-21-1939, Ethelyn married Milton R. Pearson, a farmer and the couple had 3 children, Larry, Arlen and Linda. During the war years, the family lived in California where Milt worked in the Northrup Aircraft Plant and Ethelyn raised the family. In 1946 when the war ended, they moved back to Minnesota and bought the family farm in Wadena, which Milt’s dad Sigverd Pearson had homesteaded, where they farmed and raised their family. In 1966-1968, when their children were all in college, Ethelyn co-managed the St. Cloud Roller Rink with Milt. She and Milt, known as Mom and Pop, joined their young clientele on the skate floor and danced in their skates along with the kids. She then worked as Activities Director of Shady Lane Nursing Home under Nursing Home Director Mike Gibson. She had always loved the elderly and served in this capacity with love, humor, music and activities that improved the overall wellbeing of so many older citizens in the Wadena area. She had also been interested in writing, a passion that she pursued while raising her family. She began that career on a manual typewriter, progressed to an electric typewriter and then taught herself how to use the computer (her Mac). Over the years, she published over 700 articles in 59 different magazines and 2 books, “It Really Happened Here” and “It Really Happened Here & There.” She also wrote a weekly newspaper article in the Wadena Pioneer Journal for several years mainly about people in the Wadena Area. When Milt went to Shady Lane Nursing Home suffering with Parkinson’s Disease, Ethelyn sold the farm and moved to an apartment in Wadena for about 10 years, then to Fair Oaks Assisted Living in Wadena and finally in 12-2015 to the Clarissa Nursing Home where she received excellent care up to and including at the time of her death. Ethelyn loved all people and had a variety of interests. She had a great love for music and played piano and guitar. She, her sister and 2 cousins were raised playing and singing for benefits all around the area. As an adult, she was a member of several clubs and did volunteer work for many organizations over the years. She volunteered at her church, the Wadena Methodist Church, as a Sunday School Teacher and also wrote the history of the Methodist Church for their centennial. She served as an advocate for battered women and children at the Wadena Crisis Center for several years. She belonged to the Library Club as she had a great love for books, the Hewitt Historical Society and Hewitt Museum as she had a great love for history, especially history of the Hewitt and Wadena area. She also belonged to the Garden Club which kept up the flower gardens at Shady Lane Nursing Home, and the Writer’s Club with some of her literary friends. Ethelyn loved all animals of any size or shape and over the years was caregiver to 1 or 2 pets at all times, some very unusual. She found great comfort from Bobby, the resident cat at the Clarissa Nursing Home who curled up on her bed many nights. There was Skipper, their family dog for many years that traveled with the family to California and back; Windsor named after the Duke of Windsor, a toad that she carried on her shoulder and gave “Show & Tell” talks to school-age kids in the Wadena area and Buddy Boy, a Love Bird, who lived with her at Fair Oaks and surprised her by laying 5 eggs. She thought he was a boy, thus the name. There were also many cats and dogs on the farm over the years and always an aquarium full of brightly colored fish. There were many memorable moments in Ethelyn’s life; her 50th wedding celebration with her family and friends, her surprise 90th birthday celebration at Fair Oaks in Wadena with her sister (3 years younger) flying in from Moscow, Idaho, and also riding in the Wadena parade as Grand Marshal. Attending her children’s, grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s graduations were also memorable as education and getting good jobs was so important to her. She and Milt took a trip to the Oregon coast for their oldest grandson’s college graduation for his doctor’s degree in Optometry which was definitely a memorable moment. Also, another grandson graduated in Colorado who received his doctor’s degree in statistics, another memorable event. She was looking forward to celebrating her 100th birthday and had requested that she have a BIG party with music for friends and relatives all to attend on March 15th. She dearly loved her family, attended all educational, sporting or musical events for all of us and, as our mother, taught us strong morals and religious beliefs, belief in higher education and strong work ethics so as to make the world a better place. And, because of her strong belief in family history and her great ability for storytelling, both written and verbal, we all have a wealth of information about our ancestors and extended family. Ethelyn was preceded in death by her husband (Milt) in 1999 at the age of 82, her son-in-law (Don), her grandson (Jay), her great grandson (Blake) and great granddaughter (Jordan), her mother (Alice), and her dad (Russell Linnell), her step-father (Grover Young) and her sister (Billie). She is survived by her children; Larry (Pat), Arlen (Norma) and Linda; 8 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. She loved us all and will be deeply missed by the entire family.
The Celebration of Life memorial service for Ethelyn Pearson, of Clarissa and formerly of Wadena, will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 19, at the Johnson-Schuller Chapel in Wadena. A gathering of family and friends will begin at 9:30... View Obituary & Service Information
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