BLOOMINGTON - James Earl Pearson, 72, of Bloomington died on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. at Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, 801 W. Market St., Bloomington. The Rev. Frank L. McSwain Sr. and the Rev. John Gibson will officiate.
Memorials may be made to Mount Pisgah Christian Church Education Fund.
Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home in Bloomington is assisting the family with arrangements.
Born in York, Ala., to Fannie (Sturdivant) Hunter and James Pearson, he was raised in Peoria and was a 1959 graduate of Woodruff High School. A member of the 1955 and 1957 undefeated Woodruff varsity football teams, he played collegiate football for Bradley University and was a defensive specialist for the semi-pro Canton Centaurs before entering the U.S. Air Force.
He worked for Caterpillar Tractor Co. in East Peoria as a technical graphic artist and retired after more than 30 years of service.
A local artist with extreme talent, known for his portraitures, his work is featured on the exterior of the Carver Community Center in Peoria, where he was a former member of the Board of Directors. His hobbies included basketball, bowling, golf with "Twin City Duffers" and acting in many productions in the Peoria area for the theater group at Caterpillar.
His many accomplishments include being inducted into the African American Hall of Fame in Peoria and also the Woodruff High School Hall of Fame.
His parents; a brother, Richard Pearson; and a son, Scotty Pearson, preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Harriette (Garrison Miller) Pearson of Bloomington; his first wife, Lynn (Scott) Pearson of Peoria; sisters, Ethel Holloway of Peoria and Barbara (Baskin) Hall of Cleveland, Ohio; brothers, Stanley Baskin of York, Ala., and Tony Hunter of Peoria; children, Terrance Coates of Peoria, Kim of Ohio, Allen Pearson of St. Paul, Minn., Christiaan Jay Pearson of Peoria, Kelly Jame (Pearson) Fogle of Stroudsburg, Pa., Jessica Mann of Dallas, Texas, and Jamar Covington of Peoria; grandchildren, Catherine Brianne Pearson, Nikia Kapri Pearson, Ernest Joseph Fogle, Olivia Fogle, Jamara Pearson, Nathaniel Fogle, Nevaeh Pearson, Caleb Pearson, Christiaan Pearson, Allen Pearson Jr. and Deven Pearson; two great-grandchildren, Jay Lenell Pearson and Amiyah Tassin; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Online condolences and memories may be made to the family at kiblerbradyruestman.com.