Evelyn Pearce

Obituary of Evelyn Pearce

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At age 5, Evelyn Coleman Stallings was certain about becoming a teacher. A long life of teaching inside and outside the classroom ended on June 5, 2024 in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Her parents, William O. and Everlena Stallings gave life to a future educator on September 30, 1929, in Meridian, Mississippi. Her older brothers, Billy and Johnny were often called to class in the living room for a lecture. She too learned hard lessons through the Great Depression and World War II. After graduating valedictorian in 1946 at age 16, she was put on a train to attend the University of Alabama. She courted and later married in 1949, Charles Levi Pearce, a World War II veteran. A son, Charles Alfred, and later a daughter, Melissa Susan, completed the family. Evelyn’s professional career in education got off to a slow start at Andalusia High School. In 1950, she was paid $90 monthly to teach a couple of English classes and perform clerical work in the principal’s office. She later became a full-time English teacher at Citronelle High School along with her full-time responsibilities as wife and mother. Senior sponsor, yearbook sponsor, and senior play director were a few of her other school involvements. With the sudden death of her husband in 1966, she became a 37-year-old widow with two teenagers to raise. Evelyn sold her house in Citronelle, Alabama, and enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. As a way to cope with grief and a desire to help others, she earned a doctorate in psychology and counseling. In 1970, Evelyn started her college teaching career as assistant professor of behavioral sciences at Delta State University (Cleveland, Mississippi), and in 1979 was appointed full professor and chair over the departments of psychology, counseling, and student testing. At one point, she deftly supervised 16 male professors. In July 1993, she retired as professor emeritus but did not stop teaching. Evelyn earned four national certifications in water aerobics and later received the Ageless Heroes Award for Mississippi presented by Art Linkletter on behalf of Blue Cross Blue Shield. She also excelled at playing bridge and ended her years by teaching her favorite game to residents of her assisted-living home in Ridgeland. She polished our God-given abilities through grace and wit. Her sense of beauty inspired us. Evelyn is survived by her son, Charles Alfred Pearce (Becky), and predeceased by her daughter, Melissa Susan Pearce (1954-2019). Her ashes will be interred next to the grave of her late husband, Charles Levi Pearce (1925-1966). She adored her four grandchildren: Renee LaMastus (Mack), Jennifer Neumann (Erik), Sarah Aylward (Brig), and Charles Levi Pearce (Kirsten). She always beamed in the company of her nine great-grandchildren. As a fitting memorial to Evelyn Stallings Pearce, please consider choosing any school and donating to a scholarship in her name. A graveside service will be conducted by her grandson, Charles Levi Pearce, on June 30, 2024, at 11:30 am in the Citronelle Methodist Cemetery (Citronelle, Alabama).
A Memorial Tree was planted for Evelyn
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Natchez Trace Funeral Home
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Evelyn Pearce

In Loving Memory

Evelyn Pearce

1929 - 2024

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