Belle Hoke Pearce

Obituary
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Belle "Jim" Hoke Pearce, formerly of Sutherland Springs and Austin, died September 24, 2014 in Corpus Christi. She was the last surviving child of Jesse Keesler Hoke and Hattie Bay Hoke raised in the Bays Chapel community in Montgomery County, Texas.

She was born Minnie Belle Hoke on April 30 th , 1922 on the family homestead in Bays Chapel. She was the twelfth child of thirteen, but became the youngest after her brother Joe Bennette died of diphtheria.

In 1940, she graduated from Richards High School and attended Sam Houston State College in Huntsville. When WWII broke out, she left the comfort of her large family and, with her sister Loyce, moved to San Antonio to help the war effort at Kelly Air Force Base. It was quite an adventure for two young ladies from the Piney Woods.

After the war, she married the love of her life, Jack Alwyn Pearce, and settled in San Antonio, where Belle continued her service as a civil servant. She had a daughter Sherry, son Gary and daughter Jackie while living in San Antonio. After time spent in Louisiana and Houston, the family returned to the San Antonio area and settled in Poth. Belle had continued her college education at Nichols College and finished her education degree at the University of Houston and she began a 20-year teaching career at Poth Elementary School.

She and Jack bought a farm in Sutherland Springs in 1976 and Belle raised cattle and drove a tractor to shred the weeds and plant oats, all while in her 70's after Jack's death. Belle worked to help the people of Sutherland Springs through the community center and her church.

She later moved to Austin and then Corpus Christi to be near her children. Belle continued to touch the lives of those around her with her sweetness, goodness and a beautiful smile that warmed many hearts.

Belle is survived by daughter Sherry and Danny Rizzo of Corpus Christi, son Gary Pearce of Baytown, daughter Jackie and Ken Whalen of Austin, grandsons Jack Whalen and Bennett Whalen of Austin and many members of her extended family.

Services will be held graveside at Section 16, Site 1341 of the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, October 3. A reception for family and friends will be held immediately following the service.


Published on yourconroenews.com from Sept. 29 to Oct. 12, 2014