Dr. Ann Pearson
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Dr. Ann Pearson, known to many in Springfield as Dr. Ann, died Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, at Memorial Medical Center. She was 91. She had been in deteriorating health for the past year.
Dr. Ann was born in Springfield, attended Butler School and Springfield High School, and went on to the University of Chicago, where she received her B.A. in 1944 and graduated with an M.D. in 1947. After a summer cross-country trip west "to see the mountains", she began her internship at the University of Rochester, where she met her husband of 58 years, Raymond Pearson, M.D. In 1949, they moved back to Springfield, where Raymond joined the Medical Group. For the next three years, Dr. Ann was at home with her children, but in 1952 she returned to the practice of medicine as a pediatrician, working for the next 42 years until her retirement in 1994.
In addition to practicing medicine in Springfield, she was active in the school system, supporting mandatory school immunizations in the 1950's and 1960's, and encouraging the development of family life education programs. She also served as an advisor to the Lincolnland Girl Scout Council, and served on other committees and boards supporting the Arts and Youth Groups in Springfield.
Dr. Ann was well-known as the doctor who would come into the hospital for after-hours childrens' emergencies, particularly in the 1960's and 1970's, when the medical community in Springfield was much smaller. She was the first female president of the Sangamon County Medical Society, where she helped establish the first Free Clinic in Springfield. At her retirement, she worked to place more 4,000 Medicaid patients with other pediatricians. In 1995, she was awarded the Copley "First Citizen" Award for her service to the children of Springfield.
Over her 42-year practice in Springfield, she saw more than 10,000 patients, including several governors' children. She became a "grand-doctor", seeing the children of the children she had seen as patients, long before becoming a grandmother. In her later years, she greatly enjoyed greeting, and being greeted by, her many mothers, patients, and patients' children at her local favorites: DJs and Fritz's.
She is survived by her children, William Pearson of Charlottesville, Va., Susan Thrasher of Springfield, and Laura Harris of Vienna, Va.; and four grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at First Congregational Church, Bates and Cherry Ave., Springfield, at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to support the Pediatrics Department through the Memorial Medical Center Foundation.
Boardman-Smith Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.