A memorial service was held in conjunction with services for his mother, Jewel Pearse, on Dec. 13 at Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee. The Reverend David Duncan of Milwaukee, Wis officiated. Initial services were held on April 30 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Born Feb. 20, 1946, in Sioux City, Jim grew up in Quimby, graduating from local high schools. He received his Bachelors degree in English from the University of Nebraska, and went on to earn his Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona. He taught as Professor of English and Theater at several colleges and universities, including Baylor, Western Kentucky University, University of Hawaii and William Penn College. He earned numerous awards and served in various capacities, such as being the President of the Kentucky Communication Association. He was also a movie critic and a published poet who considered language among life's greatest gifts. His good friend Dr. Carl Kell (UWK) characterized him thus: "Jim Pearse was a passionate academician. His love of literature and the oral tradition was unusual in his day and now. Few in the communication field grew up in the written and spoken word. . . rather, the quick and easy way to express an idea is preferred by most in the 21st century. Jim was from a different time . . . he revered the word . . . in poetic and narrative form. At the center of Jim's life was a dedication to language. He wrote until the end of his days. Few could say that of themselves."
He was preceded in death by his father, Keith Pearse, and his sister, Ruth Chapman. His mother, Jewel Pearse, recently followed him in death.
Survivors include two nieces: Annette Lovrien Duncan and her husband, David, of Franklin, Wis.; and Brenda Lovrien of Lincoln, Neb.; seven great-nieces and nephews: Danielle, Cherisse, David, Joshua, Kalia, Lihannah and Nathaniel Duncan of Franklin, Wis.; a cousin, Marilyn Koole, of Phoenix, Ariz. as well as her daughters, Elisa and Jennifer of Phoenix, Ariz.; an aunt, Mary Schramm, of Glendale, Ariz.; colleague and good friend Dr. Carl Kell of Bowling Green, Ky.; and other loving friends and colleagues.
Even when faced with serious obstacles due to diabetic complications, Jim was characterized by unflagging optimism and infectious laughter. He lived. . . "INDEED."