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After a long and debilitating illness, which she suffered with her characteristic restraint, dignity and indomitable spirit, Pearline Bulls, of Chattanooga, Tenn., died peacefully at Kindred Hospital on Jan. 22, 2014, while being comforted by her sister, Mary Louise Bulls, and cousin, Daryl (Dale) Cunningham. She was born on June 1, 1947, in Center Star, Ala., as the middle child of the late William George Bulls Jr. and Lucy Bell Harden Bulls. Pearline was the cherished sister of Patricia Ann Bulls Butler (MacArthur), Ray Evelyn Russell (Andrew), Mary Lousie Bulls, William George Bulls III (Beverly), Carl Erskine Bulls, and Herman Eugene Bulls (Iris); adored aunt of three nieces and seven nephews; beloved niece of numerous aunts and uncles; loving cousin to more than one can count; and dear and devoted friend to innumerable individuals throughout the United States.
Pearline was formally educated in the Lauderdale County Alabama school system, graduating from East End High School in 1966. She embarked upon her life-long career goal of becoming a nurse by enrolling in E. H. Crump School of Nursing in Memphis, Tenn. She left that nursing school and briefly matriculated at Florence State Teacher's College. Not to be dissuaded from her desire for a career in nursing, Pearline enrolled at St. Vincent's School of Nursing in Birmingham, Ala., where she was awarded her diploma in 1971. She then embarked upon her life-long career as a healthcare professional, initially working as an operating room nurse in various hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. During her tenure in the operating room, Pearline became aware of promotional opportunities for more challenging positions in that arena, particularly that of a nurse anesthetist. Consequently, she applied and was accepted at the University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Anesthesia, where she earned a certificate of anesthesia in 1976, and was certified as a nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Pearline worked as a CRNA in Ohio, Virginia, Hawaii, Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee, including Erlanger, Park Ridge, and Memorial Hospital. Pearline retired in April 2013, after a 44-year distinguished career as a healthcare professional.
Pearline joined the Tennessee Army National Guard in 1985, as a captain in the Army Nurse Corp. She was honorably discharged in 1997, having achieved the rank of major.
From an early age, Pearline was blessed with an indefatigable spirit and joy for life; her enthusiasm was infectious and her smile dazzling. The brightest star in our universe has been extinguished, but the sparks in its wake will forever shine upon us.
Pearline's family will receive visitors at Thompson and Son Funeral Home, 415 South Poplar St., Florence, Ala., on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, from 5 to 7 p.m. The funeral service will be held on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, 11 a.m., at Florence Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 408 E. Alabama St., Florence, Ala. Interment will follow in Jordan-Bulls Cemetery in Center Star, Ala. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Pearline's memory to the Florence Bethel Presbyterian Church Building Fund, 408 E. Alabama St., Florence, AL 35630, or the Lupus Foundation of America, Mid-South Chapter, 4004 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 216-B, Nashville, TN 37215.
Thompson and Son Funeral Home, Florence, is directing.
Thompson & Son Funeral Home - Florence
415 S. Poplar St. Florence, AL 35630
Published in Florence Times Daily on Jan. 25, 2014