Funeral services were held on Dec. 13 at the Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee. Pastor David Duncan of Milwaukee officiated. Burial was in the Grandview Cemetery at Quimby
Thelma Jewel Martin was born on Dec. 12, 1914, in Izard County, Ark. to Aaron David Martin and Adello (Rector) Martin. She moved with her family to the Quimby area as a child. On April 19, 1936, she married Keith Pearse, and they resided in the Washta and Quimby areas, with Keith working as a blacksmith and Jewel serving as the Washta Postmistress for a time. They had two children, Ruth Ann and James, as well as a son, John, who died in infancy. They were members of the Quimby Methodist Church and taught Sunday school there.
In her thirties, Jewel fulfilled a lifelong dream and went back to school to become a teacher, earning both her Bachelors and Masters degrees. She was a much - beloved history teacher at Washta Jr./Sr. High School for many years before moving to Phoenix, and it was a source of much joy and pride that she had grateful students who kept in touch with her until the end of her life. She was also deeply involved in the life of the community, so much so that she was called upon to be a contributing writer to the Quimby Centennial publication, which documented significant moments in the town's first 100 years. A fervent proponent of education, she continually encouraged her family and friends that "it is never too late to pursue one's education and one's dreams."
Jewel and Keith relocated permanently to Phoenix in 1979, where she taught in the public schools until retirement. They were active members of The Cross in the Desert Methodist Church, where they celebrated 63 years of marriage and where, just a few years ago, Jewel had the opportunity to preach an inspiring Sunday morning sermon. She was an avid Democrat and - later in life - Phoenix Suns fan.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Ruth Ann (Chapman) in 1998; her husband, Keith, in 1999; her identical twin sister, Ruby and her son, Dr. James Pearse, both in 2008; and two brothers, Ted Martin and Homer Martin.
Survivors include two grandchildren: Annette Lovrien Duncan and her husband, David, of Franklin, Wis.; and Brenda Lovrien of Lincoln, Neb.; seven great-grandchildren: Danielle, Cherisse, David, Joshua, Kalia, Lihannah and Nathaniel Duncan of Franklin, Wis.; a sister, Mary Schramm, of Glendale, Ariz.; a niece, Marilyn Koole of Phoenix; a sister-in-law, Billie Martin of Cherokee; and many other nieces, nephews, and cousins.