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Family-Placed Death Notice

PEARCE, Dr. Jim Dr. Jim Pearce, 78, of Atlanta, passed away November 6, 2013. Dr. Pearce was predeceased by his son, Kipp in 2004. He is survived by his wife, Mary Pearce; son, Ward Pearce of Marietta, GA and grandson, Aidan. Dr. Pearce earned his Bachelor degree from the University of Miami and received his Ph.D. in Education from Georgia State University. Dr. Pearce will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather and educator. He was a retired elementary school principal with DeKalb County School system, finishing his career at Rockbridge Elementary school where he truly believed and fulfilled the school motto of "with the child in mind." A funeral service will be held in the chapel of A. S. Turner & Sons this evening (Friday) at 5 PM. Burial will be on Saturday at 2 PM in Iron City, GA. The family will receive friends from 3 - 5 PM today at A. S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home & Crematory.

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Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nov. 8, 2013.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by The Drum Major - Major D.H. Dale U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Retired)
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34 entries
May 19, 2017
Thinking of the Family of James Gammill Pearce, Band Director, Cross Keys High School, Atlanta, Georgia, 1958-1963.

Major, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Retired - 1993)
The Drum Major 1958-1963
Publisher/Producer/Writer 1997-2017
April 16, 2016
Chieftain 1963 Cross Keys High School
The Drum Major
November 29, 2013
Mary, I am sorry I did not hear the news about Jim's passing in time to attend the service. He taught me to play clarinet in 4th grade at Woodward but more important he taught me to love to entertain. I was in 8th grade his last year at Cross Keys but there are still a lot of Mr. Pearce stories that I shared with my sons who were in band and orchestra and many others even to this day. He made a big difference in many young lives and will be fondly remembered.
Jim Grier
November 20, 2013
Deepest condolences to the Pearce and Ward families and their close friends. I know Dr. Pearce will be greatly missed. He was a superb Band Director at CKHS. Dr. Pearce was great at working with the band as a whole unit but he never lost sight of each and every individual band member. He was always leading and counseling to make the group better.
Emory Smith
November 19, 2013
Jim Pearce was the band and chorus director at Cross Keys High School from 1959-1961. I was the chorus pianist for the first three years the school was open and was privileged to study under him. He had his hands full with the new school band and chorus and helped us as we adapted to the transfer from Chamblee. He was much more than a teacher; he was truly a great leader, and I learned much from him. I wish he could know I kept playing the piano most of my life until a physical problem intervened. Mrs. Pearce, I'm thinking about you; I remember you as well. God bless your family as you go through this time.
Annelle Woolley Jones, Class of 1961
November 15, 2013
I remember Dr. Pearce as a good man. He not only led a great school and was loved by his students and faculty, but also helped me when it was time for me to go out into the world first as an Emory grad student, then for my first real job at CDC. He was encouraging when I was scared. I'm sure the resume he wrote for me helped me with my applications. My sympathy to the family.
November 14, 2013
Dr. Pearce was a fantastic principal and leader. As an educator, I now understand the importance of working in an environment under and with an excellent leader. I have such fond memories of Rockbridge Elementary and Dr.Pearce! I am 46 years old and find it incredible that my mom knew i would want to know about his passing. She received the news from a series of email forwards before it was sent to me. This shows how many people almost half a century later still respect Dr. Pearce and the legacy he left at this little Stone Mountain school. It was a wonderful place to grow up! Behind every good man is a good woman-so my heart goes out to Mrs. Pearce and her family. May God give you peace at this time,
Jami Whitley
November 11, 2013
I am very sorry to read about the passing of Dr. Pearce. Not only was he a great principal, before that he was a great band director who's positive influence, and some time stern talks, sent many a band member on a much better course through life. He was the most influential teacher in my life. May the Lord comfort Mary and the family.
Donald Edwards
November 10, 2013
Dr. Pearce was not only a wonderful principal who influenced the growth of our three sons, but was a great supporter of the PTA and parent volunteers who helped maked Rockbridge Elementary the School of Excellence that it was. Our sympathy to Mary, her son and his family.
Peg & Bill Kieffer
November 10, 2013
Dr. Pearce hired me on the spot at Rockbridge and told me he would call personnel so that I could go on and enjoy my Summer. I will never forget his kindness to me. Sorry for your loss of such a wonderful man.
Linda Bailey
November 9, 2013
It was with great sadness that we learned of Dr. Pearce's passing. He will live on forever in the hearts and minds of every child (and parent) who passed through the doors of Rockbridge Elementary School where he was a beloved Principal,. He was a gem among men and worked especially well with children. My children had the privilege of attending his school -- and the success they have achieved as adults is owed largely to his influence in their early years. He was kind, respectful and loving in his dealing with the children in his charge. As a former PTA worker at Rockbridge it was a pleasure to be in the company of such a principled man. His wisdom and knowledge was unsurpassed and I have known few school administrators of Jim Pearce's caliber. We are sure that you will miss him greatly and our prayers are with you, Mary and your son and his family. Your loss is great and we pray that the Lord will grant you His Peace during this very sad time.
Terry Benischek
November 9, 2013
Dr. Pierce shared his love of learning with all of his students at Rockbridge Elementary. He impressed my two children and inspired them with his wit and caring nature. We are grateful for his life. Our prayers go out to his family.
Anne Miller
November 9, 2013
What a wonderful man!! My brother and I attended Rockbridge Elementary School from 1975-1981 before we moved back to Memphis. He was fantastic!!! My prayers go out to his family!! Angela Chick Arnoult
Angela chick Arnoult
November 9, 2013
My brother and I attended Rockbridge Elementary from 1976-1981. What a great man!! Prayers to the family!!
November 9, 2013
dear mrs pearce, your husband was a good person and i liked him..you used to live at the corner of grant and thompson,,i lived 5 doors down on thompson..johnny holcomb cross keys 1963..
johnny holcomb
November 9, 2013
I have a lot of good memories at Rockbridge. Dr Pearce was a respected and highly loved principle. Prayers go out to the family.
Christian Adams
November 9, 2013
As a first-year teacher, I was blessed to have Dr. Jim Pearce as one of my five principals while teaching as an itinerant elementary band director for DeKalb County. He led by example not only for his students, but also his teachers.

As a former band director, he understood the many challenges I dealt with as a teacher literally without a classroom and often went out of his way to make things easier for this young teacher, providing rehearsal space and time even for students from other DeKalb schools. One of my fondest memories of him was performing with our area band for the spring concert in 1977.

My deepest sympathies go out to his family. May it bring some comfort to know that Dr. Jim Pearce's teachings and examples impacted many, many lives, and his legacy lives on.
Merri Williams
November 9, 2013
I heard about his passing on facebook as friends shared a photo of him using the school's first Apple computer with my class. What a wonderful principal he was, and what fantastic memories I will have of elementary school thanks to him. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Pam Chinik
November 9, 2013
He was a great man and a great friend and boss. I loved him like a father. My hearts go out to the family. Rip my friend u will be missed.
Rebecca hood
November 9, 2013
So sorry for your loss. I remember Dr. Pearce well. He was my principal at Rockbridge Elementary. A kind man.
~Erin Sheppard Simpson
Erin Simpson
November 9, 2013
To the family of Dr. Pearce,
I have many fond memories of Dr. Pearce and the days we all spent together at Rockbridge Elementary. I wish you peace in your hearts during this sad time. God Bless... Valerie Catron Johnson
Valerie Johnson
November 9, 2013
Thank you Dr.Pearce for being a great educator and friend. You never gave up on me. You pushed me to make me a better person.I remember the last time I worked with him . I was on his stage crew for a play . Well Rest in Peace.
Sam Miller
November 9, 2013
Dr. Pearce was my elementary school Principal when we moved to Stone Mountain from Florida when I was 8. It was because of him and his staff that Rockbridge was a magical place. The environment and the life lessons continue to influence my philosophy of education, of parenting and of volunteering. He truly made a difference and I have a special place in my heart for him. It is because of Rockbridge that I am so grateful that my children have Hembree Springs Elementary. RIP Dr. Pearce. So glad I got to speak with you a few years back. I love you.
Laura Pennell Calvert
November 9, 2013
Rest In Peace, Dr. Pearce. You helped make my years at Rockbridge a positive experience!
Brad Mitchell
November 9, 2013
Dr. Pearce was awesome!! When I was in the first grade at Rockbridge Elementary he pulled my first tooth. I remember seeing him in the hallway with a tissue on my mouth he said "Come here let me pull that" and within 5 seconds he did, and I went on to class. He was dedicated to our school and was the driving force behind our many years as "School of Excellence". He will be greatly missed.
Tasha Dempsey Carr
November 9, 2013
So sad to hear of Dr. Pearce's passing. He was my principal at Rockbridge in the 80's. He was so connected and in touch with students that we truly felt at home when we were there. I remember staying after school one day and asking him for change to get a drink. He said if I could pick out the correct key to the vending machine from his big keychain I would have it for free. Well I did, he gave me the drink, and lots of years later I remember that fondly. I'm now in my 5th year as a high school assistant principal and look to my years with him as examples for how I can lead. Hope you find peace in knowing his teachings are alive today in us.
Rose Timmerberg Montgomery
November 9, 2013
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
November 9, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
November 8, 2013
I was so shocked to hear the news of Dr. Pearce's passing. So ironic, I was wondering about him a month ago. It's been nearly 30 years since our class of '84 graduated, but I have a lot of great memories being a Rockbridge Rocket. We all must appreciate the time we lived in when life was much more simple, innocent time when we could walk to school alone, no fear of crime, not wear helmets on our bikes, and principals actually did morning, in-between, and afternoon announcements. He has been one of several influences in my life for sure, and he always believed in his students and strived to help them grow and achieve their dreams. He definitely set me straight on a few occasions. Even heard his voice broadcast his name over the intercom: 'Brian Kelley, come to the office.' Ohhh man! Life is so precious, and we grow so much in our youth, and continue to grow today. My prayers and condolences to the Pearce family and for leaving a wonderful legacy to our proud little town of Stone Mountain and generations of students.
Brian Kelley
November 8, 2013
Jim Pearce made a definite and positive influence on my life during my years at Cross Keys HS. He not only was an accomplished musician and director, but he was always available for good advice and emotional support for a group of young people trying to find their way into adulthood. Thanks you, Dr. Pearce for what you have meant to my life and that of many others. You will be greatly missed.
Andrea Raulerson McGriff
November 8, 2013
What shocking news to learn of Dr.Pearce's death! I only have the fondest memories of him as a man and principal. Dr.Pearce was my principal at Rockbridge Elementary when I taught 2nd grade there from 1974-1977. What a wonderful principal! He truly had the respect and admiration from his students, staff and community. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Charlene Alvarez
November 8, 2013
When Dr. Pearce began his career in DeKalb County, he assumed the position of Band Director at the newly opened Cross Keys HS. Those were wonderful days! I had the extreme pleasure of being in the band 8th-12th grade. 50 years later several of my best friends today were fellow band members, and whenever we're together we tell and re-tell wonderful stories of our years with Dr. Pearce, and Miss Ollie. Fond, loving memories!
Sincere condolences to family and friends.
November 8, 2013
I will never forget Dr. Pearce's announcements about "Sorry, the chocolate cow is sick today so there will be no chocolate milk at lunch." He was a great principal because he was a great man. He was the fire behind the "Rockbridge Rockets". With fond memories, my deepest sympathies to the family.
Kirsten Polentz Haas
November 8, 2013
My sister Holly Loyd and my self (Heather Loyd) wish your family blessings and prayers in this time. You were a wonderful principal and cared for each of your students. We were there from 1984 to 87 and still think of you fondly Dr. Pearce. I am now a massage therapist, you inspired that. thank you for your care as an educator and Principal!!!!! God bless.
Heather Searcy
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