The Ottumwa Courier


May 25, 2012

Jimmie Pearson, 86, Ottumwa

OTTUMWA — Jimmie L. Pearson, 86, of Iowa City, formerly of Ottumwa, died May 23, 2012, at the Iowa City Care and Rehab Center.

Jimmie L. Henderson was born April 18, 1926, in Athens, Ala., the daughter of James L. and Willie Pearl (Kent) Henderson. In the year of 1952, she was united in marriage to Richard Fritz Pearson of Muscatine. The couple moved to Iowa City so that Richard could attend medical school here. He was killed in an automobile accident on Aug. 9, 1956, 11 months following the birth of their daughter, Terri.

She graduated from Murray High School, Murray, Ky., in 1944. Between her senior year in high school and before she enrolled in college at Auburn University, she worked in the office administration of the company that developed the atomic bomb in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Following the end of the war, she received a commendation letter from President Truman for her contribution to the war effort and the ultimate ending of World War II. She went on to attend and graduate from Auburn University in 1949 with a degree in nutrition and foods and became a registered dietician. Jimmie found work at the Ottumwa Hospital as the dietician and then became director of food services, a position that she held for many years until her retirement in 1986. While in her position there, she belonged to numerous professional and local civic groups and organizations.

Jimmie enjoyed life and lived it to its fullest; she liked tending her gardens, going fishing, watching car races, reading, doing needlework, knitting, crocheting, painting on canvas and in her day was a licensed pilot. But most of all, she was always Mother first; Terri was the center of Jimmie’s world and nothing ever got in the way of this.

Her family includes her daughter and son-in-law, Terri (Gary) Neuzil of Iowa City; brother and sister-in-law, Thomas (Gerri) Henderson of Broken Arrow, Okla.; niece and family, Julianne (Jim) Schroeder and their children, Brooke and Austin; sister-in-law, Betty Johnson; nephews and nieces, Bob Pearson, John Pearson and Jerry Pearson, Christine Masterson and her son, Richard; Patti Pearson, Janet Graham and her husband, Randy.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and husband, Richard.

There will be a period of visitation from 2-6 p.m. Tuesday at the Reece Funeral Home with a private family service at the Greenwood Cemetery in Muscatine on Wednesday.

A memorial fund has been established in Jimmie’s memory, and online condolences may be sent for her family through the web at

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service is caring for Jimmie’s family and her services.

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